Connecticut: Data center on the way for vacant Beacon Falls land?

Mar 01, 2022 | Posted by MadalineDunn

According to reports, a local construction company in Beacon Falls, Torrington-based O&G Industries, is proposing plans to build a data center on vacant land in the town. The company's subdivision company, Data Center, is set to take the lead on the project, which will involve building the facility on 25 acres of land.

This development comes following the passing of a bill last year by Gov. Ned Lamont that offered tax incentives for data center operators to drive tech companies to the state. Data Center manager Bill Corvo commented that if there were no tax incentives, data center companies would simply choose to send their business elsewhere. "It's got to be competitive with (data center) projects in the United States. That's why they did it that way," he said.

Aside from the tax incentives, according to the company, a number of factors encouraged them to set their sights on the area. These reasons included that there is a major fiber optic line behind the property, and also easy access to Route 8. There are also a number of airports in the area, and the location reportedly has "an excellent connection with the town."

The next steps for the project will see the town assessor June Chadderton determine how much in taxes the data center would create and then form an agreement to be finalized, followed by the signing of an MoU, which will then go to the DECD for approval.

Speaking about what he thought were the positives to come out of the deal, Selectman Michael A. Krenesky said the project will bring natural gas to the area, which he called a "huge infrastructure plus." Adding: "It'll be a boom for the town."

Natural gas has been dubbed a "bridge fuel" that can help to reduce emissions while renewable energy alternatives are developed. However, natural gas is not the antidote to climate change that some may think. It emits CO2, contains 80-95% methane and, as an explosive fuel, can be potentially very dangerous.

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