Photo by JP Eichmiller
Pflugerville WindData plotA planned Pflugerville data center location at New Meister and Schulz lanes sits undeveloped months after construction was scheduled to begin.
An ambitious plan to erect a $210 million data center in Pflugerville is on hold for at least the near future as the site’s developer says it is considering alternative locations and cities.
In November, the Pflugerville Community Development Corp. announced an agreement with WindData--a high-tech, renewable energy data corporation–to build “the first 100 percent renewable energy-powered data center in the U.S.” at the intersection of New Meister and Schultz lanes near Toll 45 in Pflugerville. Plans called for construction of a five-building, 600,000-square-foot campus that would bring at least 130 new high-paying jobs into the city during the next decade.
The entire project, however, is now under threat.
“There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes right now on sites and signings,” said D. Roy Phillips, chief operating officer of Baryonyx Corporation, the Austin-based parent company of WindData. “We are looking at a number of sites in the North Austin area.”
As part of the deal, the PCDC agreed to pay WindData $3,000 per new job past the first 30 hirings. WindData was also set to receive $150,000 annually from the PCDC for 10 years and a three-year, 70 percent tax rebate from the city. Prior to the City Council passing the agreement, Phillips told council members that ground breaking was expected to begin during “the second quarter of .”
The PCDC is also unsure as to the project’s future.
“I don’t know how the WindData project is going,” PCDC Executive Director Floyd Akers said. “I know [WindData] are doing financing, and that is a difficult process right now.”
According to Phillips, WindData would like to have a final site chosen–in Pflugerville or elsewhere–by the end of summer and be operational by next year.
“Coming to a closure on land always has its challenges,” Phillips said. “We just want to be absolutely sure we end up with the right location. It’s a major investment when the time comes.”