State data center site proposed for PM Twp.

March 26, 2013

PERE MARQUETTE TWP. — Mason County may soon be home to the state’s data center. Representatives from Consumers Energy and the development company were at the Pere Marquette Township board of trustees meeting Tuesday night to ask for a resolution of support for the project.

If it is approved by the state Department of Energy, the project will mean a major stimulus to the economy, especially in construction jobs.

A data center is where the majority of an enterprise’s servers and storage are located, operated and managed. The current state data center is located in the Lansing area.

Doug Roberts, director of government affairs with Consumers Energy, said Consumers will most likely move its data center facilities to Ludington from Jackson, if the state center is built.

The proposed Mason County site is located on the north side of the pumped storage facility between Chauvez and Bradshaw roads, east of South Lakeshore Drive. The properties are currently owned by four different groups: Consumers, Harvey Walton, Dr. Donn Dougherty and the Michelle and Jeff Kramer.

Boji said three other sites are in the running for the data center. He said he believes the Ludington site has the best chance, though, based on several factors including its closeness to back-up power sources, the Consumers Energy Pumped Storage Facility. .

“Jobs are a very important part of this,” Boji said. “The governor has made it very clear that this must be about economic development. This will mean construction jobs and in the long term, not quantity but quality jobs. These will be highly paid professionals.”

The proposal must be submitted by April 26, Boji said.

We will have an update on this story later tonight

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