Appalachian Power is engaged in a new effort to lure large capital investment and high-tech, high-paying jobs to the area. The program targets a growing industry by identifying sites in western Virginia that are independently qualified to meet requirements to support a data center.
The Appalachian Power program is part of an American Electric Power (AEP) effort to identify optimum data center sites in the company's 11-state service area. Both Roanoke County's Center for Research and Technology and Wythe County's Progress Park met the criteria and are the first two sites to receive the designation.
"Appalachian Power's data center qualification program targets an industry that can bring significant investment and high-paying employment opportunities," said Mark Dempsey, Appalachian Power external affairs vice president. "Because electric infrastructure is a key component to economic growth we are already engaged in the economic development process. Under this program, we're pleased to have the opportunity to help facilitate economic growth in our communities."
The data center qualification was conducted by Biggins Lacey Shaprio & Company (BLS), a location consulting firm, in partnership with Sugarloaf Associates, an energy advisory group specializing in the data center industry.
Appalachian Power has 1 million customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee (as AEP Appalachian Power). It is a unit of American Electric Power, and delivers electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states.