Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley® Identified as Prime Spot for Data Center

Maryville and Lenoir City, Tenn. - Dec. 7, 2010 -- Knoxville-based Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has identified two locations in the heart of the Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley® as “giga-sites” ideal for attracting large, new data centers. The sites are Partnership Park South Industrial Park, a 210-acre site on U.S. 321 in Blount County near the city of Maryville, and Creekwood Park, a mixed-use development with 200 acres available adjacent to I-75 in Loudon County.

Data centers facilitate new technologies and e-commerce financial transactions, and house computer, telecommunication and information storage systems for Internet search engine companies like Google and Amazon. They are a particularly good fit for the Innovation Valley because they would also support the region’s growing concentration of service centers, a type of employer who depends heavily upon data centers for information storage and retrieval.

TVA and the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD) are offering incentives to attract qualified data facilities to the region. A policy approved in 2008 allows TVA to offer manufacturing rates to qualified data centers. Economic developers say it is a business sector that creates well-paid jobs and results in considerable capital investment.

“There’s a strong trend now for companies to use the servers of increasingly large, offsite data facilities,” said Bryan Daniels President and CEO of the Blount Partnership.

“We would be connecting the Innovation Valley to a growing industry,” said Pat Phillips, President of the Loudon County Economic Development Agency.

The economic development blueprint by the five-county Innovation Valley partnership puts heavy emphasis on the region’s high tech future and preparing a workforce that is qualified for new challenges. The partnership leverages the area’s principal assets such as Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Tennessee, numerous industrial parks and high-tech businesses. The region also is the site of numerous regional research and development initiatives in advanced materials, biofuels, solar energy technologies and other emerging industrial sectors.

For more information about the Knoxville-Oak Ridge Innovation Valley economic development partnership, visit http://www.knoxvilleoakidge.com or contact Garrett Wagley at (865) 246-2661 or at gwagley@knoxvillechamber.com.