With Almost $14 Billion in Announced Spending, Data Centers Call Indiana Home

May 3, 2024
A state government that is aggressively pursuing new construction is just part of the data center equation for the Hoosier State.

CBS Chicago reported that Amazon's new $11 billion data center project will be located near the town of New Carlisle, about 15 miles west of South Bend, Indiana, a suburb to the Chicago metro area.

When Amazon announced in April 2024 that they were planning to invest $11 billion in Indiana for data centers and supporting infrastructure, over the next decade, it drew a lot of attention to a state that has long supported Amazon’s efforts.

The Hoosier State is happy that since 2010, Amazon has invested over $21 billion there in everything from warehouses to supermarkets, to wind and solar farms, to employee salaries and to 26,000 full and part-time jobs.

But the announcement that there would be an additional $11 billion spent on data centers and infrastructure marks a significant data center investment in the state.

St. Joseph County will see new data centers being built for AWS and will be receiving an additional $7 million investment solely to support road infrastructure improvement for the county to support the planned development.

Additional investments are being made in education for the local communities, with a focus on STEM programs, and STEM educational efforts in the local schools.

A Broad Midwestern Appeal

But Amazon isn’t the only big spender for Indiana data centers. Last month Google announced it would be investing $2 billion in a data center in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The investment will include a skilled trades career development program plus a commitment with Indiana Michigan Power Company to add clean energy to the local grid.

Google also announced that they would commit $250,000 to the Fort Wayne Early Learning Center, and a local emergency housing shelter program, Just Neighbors Interfaith Homeless Network.

Not wanting to be left out of the Indiana land rush -- and, in fact, leading the way with their January announcement -- Meta is investing $800 million to build 700,000 sq ft of data center space in Jeffersonville, Indiana, with construction under way and is expected to finish in 2026.

Not Just Hyperscalers

And it’s not just the hyperscalers that are building data centers in Indiana, the new Digital Crossroads of America Data Center, a 105,000 sq ft, $40 million data center being built by Indiana NAP.

The facility will include a tech incubator, plus a greenhouse for Purdue University that will be heated by water warmed by the data center cooling infrastructure.

The 77 acre site on the Indiana/Illinois border could eventually grow to a million sq. ft. of data center space and a $200 million investment.

Why Indiana?

Beyond the central location, easy access to a large population in middle America, and the availability of excellent connectivity options, there are at least two major economic incentives that data centers can take advantage of in Indiana. 

The first is one that other locations have used: there is a statewide data center sales tax exemption in place for up to 25 years for smaller investments, and up to 50 years for investments that exceed $750 million.

Local governments can also provide personal property tax exemptions on investments of $25 million in their communities.

All Roads Lead to Powering

The second incentive is likely even more compelling these days in light of energy scarcity and costs issues facing the data center industry.

To wit, Indiana Michigan Power, the regional operating company for American Electric Power, offers the Indiana Economic Development Rider, which can potentially save customers as much as $10.85 per kilowatt.

Qualifiers for the discounts are fairly minimal for the data center world: 500 kW on one metered account or 20 new jobs.

A maximum discount of 12% in the first four years of operations, trailing down to 1% in year seven, is available.

Connectivity, personnel, land, and power availability are combining right now to optimize Indiana as a location for new data center development. It's a trend we've seen echoed in the greater Midwest that DCF will continue to report on.

 

 

City of Hammond, Indiana Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr.’s speech at the 2018 groundbreaking ceremony for the then-future 12-acre Digital Crossroads of America Data Center at the former State Line Generating Facility site on Hammond’s lakefront. Private enterprise initially invested $40 million into the project to construct a 105,000-square-foot data center, tech incubator, and greenhouse. 

 

 

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About the Author

David Chernicoff

David Chernicoff is an experienced technologist and editorial content creator with the ability to see the connections between technology and business while figuring out how to get the most from both and to explain the needs of business to IT and IT to business.

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