Connecticut: NE Edge and Groton: Data center discussions cease

Apr 05, 2022 | Posted by MadalineDunn

Although it looked like a new data center would be on its way to Groton, Connecticut, last week, the Town Council decided to end negotiations with NE Edge LLC. This announcement came following the council's vote (five to one) to discontinue efforts to pursue a municipal host fee agreement with the data center developer, and this discussion ceased "with prejudice."

Last year in December, NE Edge, requested that the council approve an agreement to build two data centers spanning 250,000 square-foot (23,200 sqm) on several contiguous wooded land parcels. This proposal had been a hotly debated issue, and met with opposition by local residents. The company's founder Thomas Quinn (formerly CEO of GotSpace), was specifically put under the microscope and reportedly called out as a "crook," and accused of "jumping from one sinking ship to a brand-new legal entity" following the collapse of previous companies he worked with. Likewise, officials had argued that the process had been rushed, meaning that councilors and the community were not "properly engaged with," as Councilor Portia Bordelon outlined. 

In response to this, the data center developer wanted to reach out to neighbors, hold a public meeting and bring its proposal back to the drawing board to make revisions. In order to do this, it has requested the town withdraw the agreement under consideration, but the council went ahead with the scheduled meeting, where it voted to withdraw from discussions. This was reportedly met with cheers from local residents.

Following the vote to cease discussions, Quinn commented that it's "too soon to respond with next step specifics." Adding: "We have interest in the general area for development, and we'll be looking at every option."