Monday, November 23, 2009

Could This Work in Westbrook?

It takes a number of inputs to make a large data processing center function
well, and it might surprise you to know that Maine is especially well
positioned to host that industry if--and it's a big "if"--we are able to invest
in some missing infrastructure.
- John C.L. Morgan


YankeeFarmer said...

YES! It could work and in fact, it almost did work already. Shortly after 9/11 VISA International (the credit card company) was seeking to migrate their large data processing facility from the outskirts of Washington DC to a less vulnerable area. VISA processes millions of transactions a day and could not afford to lose their data center for even a few minutes.

Maine was on the short list and Westbrook was the top location in Maine. Our City offers the most important ingredient, reliable power. With Calpine and the Spring Street sub-station any business in the 5 Star Business Park can have redundant sources of power. Power comes in from the north and south and there is natural gas available for on-site back-up generation that was also critical for VISA. Close to airport, close to infrastructure. Westbrook had it all. It would have been a +$400 million investment.

VISA ended up in Colorado with this particular facility, but Westbrook could win the next one.

YankeeFarmer said...

...also, I forgot to mention that there is back-bone fiber-optic cable hanging off a 35kv CMP line along the electrical transmission right-of-way next to the 5 Star Business Park. This cable heads south to NH border.

Westbrook Diarist said...

Yankee Farmer,

Thanks for your great answers to my question.

What do you think the City needs to do to make this happen in Westbrook.