Data Center and IT services are a large and growing part of the Texas economy, as reported by the Texas Governors Office. IT employment across industries is exceeding 330,000 workers statewide. IT and related services have become the foundation for many companies operations and management. As we continue to trend toward a data driven economy demand for data centers will continue.
Data centers provide storage of company information, assess multitudes of digital information, research and cloud computing. Data center operations consist of a blend of corporate owned centers and outsourcing, with outsourcing on the rise.
Data Centers and Economic Development benefits a community beyond jobs. While data centers tend not to harbor large amounts of jobs the fiscal impacts can outweigh the omission of jobs. From a jurisdiction’s fiscal perspective (revenues and expenditures) the added benefits of data centers provide little demand for city services while generating large tax revenues. This creates a positive fiscal influence for the community which be used to attract and grow other industries and higher wage employment reliant on data services.
It is without any doubt that Data centers use a significant amount of electricity and therefore drawn to areas that have large power capabilities that are inexpensive and abundant. It is also important that data centers have adequate backup systems in place should the data center’s primary power feed be interrupted.
Based on Schertz location, we have three service providers which include CPS Energy, Guadalupe Valley Electric Coop (GVEC) and New Braunfels Utilities (NBU).
IT Infrastructure and Connectivity
Access to reliable, redundant, and high bandwidth connectivity is important to data centers daily operations. Schertz offers not only choice in internet providers (AT&T and Time Warner Cable) but also an extensive fiber network consisting of 10l000 fiber sheath miles and over 700,000 fiver strand miles.
Data centers are capital intensive and not labor intensive, but the jobs requires to operate them require a degree of high technical skills. To compete for data center locations, localities, and regions often need to show that there is an available workforce that meet the skill levels needed.
Schertz’ combined quality of living and premier location to eight recognized universities and five Alamo Community Colleges in the San Antonio, Texas region as well as the advanced tech workforce just sixty miles away in Austin insures that an available workforce is ready with the skills needed for any data center planning to locate in Schertz.
Taxes and Incentives
Cost for energy and equipment are considerable expenses for data centers. Taxes further impact the bottom-line, but to help offset these costs jurisdictions offer incentives. To be effective, data center incentives are based on total capital investment and not employment and will typically include: tax exemptions, energy rebates and tax abatement’s on real or personal property.
Schertz Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) has the ability to offer a variety of incentives that can alleviate development and or relocation costs.