Why is Central Washington Ideal for Data Centers?

Hydroelectric power is a hallmark of central WA, contributing to extremely low total cost of ownership.

A small farming town on Washington state’s high prairie is buzzing with life: restaurants are busy, businesses are growing, infrastructure is modernizing, and ground was broken last month for a new high school. The regional airport will soon feature a daily flight to and from San Francisco.

Welcome to Quincy

Founded as a railway station in the late 19th century, Quincy (and Grant County at large) was transformed into an agricultural center upon the completion of the Grand Coulee Dam in 1942. Decades later, Quincy had little reason to take note of technology as an internet was born, a dot-com bubble grew and burst, and smartphones took up residence in every pocket.

With the rise of data centers in recent years, however, technology took note of Quincy.

Today, it’s difficult to throw a rock in Quincy without hitting one of the dozens of impressive data centers that have been built in the last decade. Enterprises and colocation providers alike have made strategic decisions to build data centers in central Washington – but why?

In 2011, Sabey Data Centers opened the door to its own SDC Quincy data center campus, and it has remained one of our most successful properties to date. After seven years in the region, we’d like to share what we’ve learned, and what makes central Washington such a special place for data centers.

Central Washington Energy

Clean and inexpensive hydroelectric power is a hallmark of central Washington, with prices as low as $.03 per kWH driving the total cost of ownership (TCO) for data centers to among the lowest in the country.

It’s been said that with great power comes great responsibility, so sourcing natural, renewable, and reliable power is only half of our commitment to sustainability; using that power as responsibly as possible is the other half. As a testament to our commitment, Sabey Data Centers was recently recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy as having achieved the highest level of energy savings among data centers in its 2017 Better Buildings Progress Report, due in part to the unprecedented 41% energy savings at SDC Quincy.

Saving 6 million kW of energy annually, the campus was also awarded the highest-ever Power Players Award from the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA).

Central Washington Geography

In addition to inexpensive, renewable energy and peerless efficiency, our tenants at SDC Quincy (and the nearby SDC Columbia data center in East Wenatchee) also enjoy benefits of the region, such as seismic stability and a moderate climate that allows for 90% free cooling.

Available rural real estate also lends itself well to the large footprint of data centers, and central Washington has plenty. SDC Quincy provides 420,000 square feet of purpose-built colocation space across three strategically-designed buildings, offering modular efficiency for users of virtually any size. Built-to-suit powered shell, hybrid configurations, and wholesale turnkey colocation module options exist, all managed by an award-winning critical environment management team.

Quincy’s proximity to nearby, bursting-at-the-seams Seattle has also been a boon for its data centers, as skilled workers are all too eager to leave the rain and traffic jams behind for a smaller community and a lower cost of living. A short drive over the Cascades (or an even shorter flight from SeaTac airport) also makes central Washington data centers easily accessible by every company across the country.

As it turns out, what’s good for data centers is also good for people! Our employees, and those of our tenants, enjoy a small-town, mountain lifestyle in central Washington. Summer brings fishing, camping, and water recreation, while cold-weather sports such as skiing and snowmobiling round out the year. Data centers have breathed new life into the countryside, helping give rise to wineries, restaurants, cultural events, and conveniences that have in turn reinvigorated tourism in the region.

Central Washington Connectivity

SDC Quincy offers access to multiple network carriers, including Frontier Com­munications, CenturyLink, NoaNet, Noel Communications, and StarTouch. The facility also provides access to dark fiber providers such as Zayo, in addition to the SDN Next-Generation Network Platform, PacketFabric. To support the diverse connectivity requirements of tenants, SDC Quincy delivers multiple telecom services, diverse Points of Entry, dark fiber, Dedicated Internet Access (DIA), point-to-point, and on-ramps to the cloud.

Our remote hands services are available 24×7, providing customers with various services including cable and loopback testing, device reset, standby support, rack audits, and short- and long-term material storage.

About Sabey Data Centers

Leveraging more than 20 years of innovation, Sabey Data Centers has developed a wide footprint of multi-tenant data centers across North America, each designed to deliver performance, flexibility and scalability. A family-owned organization headquartered in Seattle, Sabey Data Centers boasts a portfolio of data centers from coast to coast.

If you’re interested in learning more about colocation at Sabey’s SDC Quincy facility, please contact us.

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