April 17, 2024

Data Center planned for SE of Adair

A substation built by NextEra Energy southeast of Adair will likely have new neighbors soon as Applied Digital hopes to build an approximately 600,000 square feet data center on 200 acres of land in the area.

Landowners near the NextEra Energy sub-station southeast of Adair are likely to have new neighbors in the next couple of years.

Lance Cummins and Nick Phillips, officials with the firm Applied Digital, made the Adair County supervisors aware of their intention to build a 200-megawatt data center on land adjacent to the sub-station in the 1200 block of Fallow Avenue which is hooked into by wind farms in Guthrie and Audubon counties.

The scope of the estimated $1.5 billion project is that two 300,000-square feet buildings would be erected on the site chosen that Applied Digital has an option to purchase on. There would be 40-70 employees for the data center who are mostly there to manage the facility, although a few would be classified as tech jobs. Applied Digital looks to source employees locally, if possible, and participate in communities they build in.

There would likely be significant construction traffic during the build with 50-200 construction employees and a road use agreement of some form may be needed to account for about one mile of unpaved road to reach the desired site.

A few concerns with builds such as these are the impact to other water and electricity consumers in the area.

The facility would require 200,000 gallons of water initially, which Applied Digital officials said would be trucked in. Once up and online, the center would not require enough water to impact other local customers, officials said.

Applied Digital representatives said electrical customers’ bills would not increase because of the center because the center would connect directly to MidAmerican’s supply associated with the NextEra sub-station.

Another impact may be noise to neighbors. Officials acknowledged there would be some noise from the operation of the center, though sound attenuation engineers work on these projects to limit noise that escapes the facility.

Construction for one of the two buildings is expected to take about one year.

Officials said a public meeting will be held in Adair closer to the start of construction. Landowners in the area have already been consulted, they said.

Caleb Nelson

Caleb Nelson

Caleb Nelson has served as News Editor of the Adair County Free Press and Fontanelle Observer since Oct. 2017. He and his wife Kilee live in Greenfield. In Greenfield and the greater Adair County area, he values the opportunity to tell peoples' stories, enjoys playing guitar, following all levels of sports, and being a part of his local church.