Deloitte Consulting, TVA Identify Bristol Tennessee as Pre-Qualified Data Center Site

05.04.2011

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BTES systems offer top infrastructure at Bristol West Industrial Park

BRISTOL, Tenn. – On Wednesday, Bristol Tennessee joined an elite group of locations identified by a recent Deloitte Consulting study as a TVA pre-qualifier for a data center site. Bristol is one of only 12 locations in the seven-state Tennessee Valley region to receive the designation. 

As a pre-qualifier, the Bristol West Industrial Park, located at 420 Bristol West Blvd. near the Tennessee/Virginia border, meets the criteria for electric service, fiber service, site considerations, labor accessibility and low risk for natural disasters – all of which are necessary for a data center environment, according to the Deloitte economic development study sponsored by the Tennessee Valley Authority.

The 12 sites named are considered ready for development and meet necessary criteria to support a major data center project. TVA is partnering with local power distributors like BTES, regional, state and community economic development leaders to begin marketing these sites as part of the region’s data center project recruitment initiative.

The presence of state-of-the-art fiber optics was a major factor in Bristol’s selection, according to Mike Browder, CEO of Bristol Tennessee Essential Services (BTES).

“Having Deloitte Consulting and TVA recognize the attributes of our area places Bristol West in the spotlight as a readily available site for the data industry,” Browder says. “BTES and the city of Bristol provide the assets to meet the criteria data companies are seeking.

“This designation confirms the vision that BTES had when we developed a state-of-the-art fiber-to-the-user system via an all-fiber network to serve all of our 33,000 electric customers,” Browder adds. “Our system is powered by Alcatel-Lucent’s gigabit passive optical network (GPON) technology. Our vision of adding fiber-optic services to our highly reliable electric system continues to enhance our ability to attract technology companies and promote economic growth in our area. 

“We look forward to working with our community partners, the city of Bristol Tennessee and NETWORKS – Sullivan Partnership, in providing the best in economic opportunities.” 

John Bradley, senior vice president for TVA economic development, confirmed that demand for data centers is growing as increased use of electronic commerce and information technologies require more data storage space. 

“There are exceptional opportunities for regional growth potential in this industry,” Bradley says. “The Bristol Tennessee site has the resources, infrastructure and other qualities needed to support strong data center development. Data centers provide highly skilled, good-paying job opportunities. TVA’s goal is to help make the region more competitive in attracting and retaining these types of industries and the economic benefits associated with them.” 

TVA and Deloitte Consulting’s search for data center-friendly environments included evaluation of ready-for-development primary sites. Deloitte, a Chicago-based consulting firm, specializes in audit, consulting, financial advisory, risk management and tax services. Deloitte assessed more than 50 sites across TVA’s service area, considering factors such as robust telecommunications connectivity, with long-haul fiber-optics from multiple carriers; abundant water resources; low business and personal taxation rates; ample supply of well-educated workers from 83 four-year colleges and universities in the Tennessee Valley; location within 500 miles of 75 percent of the U.S. population; convenient access to commercial airports and interstate highways; and low risk of natural disasters. 

Other prospective sites identified in the TVA survey include Athens, Tenn.; Duffield, Va.; Fayetteville, Tenn.; Guntersville, Ala.; Hartselle, Ala.; Jackson, Tenn.; Lenoir City, Tenn.; Maryville, Tenn.; Murfreesboro, Tenn.; Olive Branch, Miss.; and Tullahoma, Tenn. 

Bristol Tennessee Essential Services 
Bristol Tennessee Essential Services’ fiber-to-the-user system is available to all of its 33,000 electric customers. BTES currently serves 18 schools within Sullivan County and the city of Bristol Tennessee. All schools in the BTES service area have 100 megabits per second service. More information is available at www.btes.net

Bristol West Industrial Park 
The Bristol West site is a half-mile from the intersection of I-81 and U.S. Route 11W, approximately five miles from downtown Bristol, convenient to Tri-Cities Regional Airport, and centrally located to all of the Tri-Cities’ business districts. Situated at the midpoint between Knoxville, Tenn., and Roanoke, Va., this scenic industrial park is a gateway of opportunity for Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. 

Tennessee Valley Authority 
The Tennessee Valley Authority, a corporation owned by the U.S. government, provides electricity to large industries and 155 power distributors that serve approximately 9 million consumers in seven southeastern states. Economic development is a major part of TVA’s core mission. TVA’s economic development services are focused on attracting targeted new industries, retaining and growing existing businesses and helping communities be better prepared for economic growth. More information is available at www.TVAed.com

NETWORKS – Sullivan Partnership 
NETWORKS – Sullivan Partnership is a joint economic development partnership of Bluff City, Bristol, Kingsport and Sullivan County, Tenn. The organization's vision is to establish and promote Sullivan County as the preferred choice for business investment, resulting in quality jobs for its citizens and tax base growth for its communities. More information is available at www.networkstn.com