PLAINFIELD, Ind. – Duke Energy is awarding $18,000 to the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation to document two “data center-ready” sites capable of attracting more information technology businesses to Monroe County.

Data Center Ready

This funding will help pay for environmental and hydrological studies, as well as for professional surveys, maps and marketing materials, making the sites more attractive to businesses that house computer data centers (also known as server farms).

“We’re committed to helping our communities prepare for economic growth,” said Pam Chapman, Duke Energy Indiana area manager for Monroe County. “This funding will allow the BEDC to prepare these sites to meet national standards for data centers. Meeting those standards is critical to attracting these kinds of businesses to our area.”

The standards, established by the Telecommunications Industry of America, include the price of power, secure location, networking infrastructure, accessibility, talent pool, and local incentives.

“BusinessWeek magazine previously reported that Bloomington is the third-best place to house a data center in the U.S.,” said Ron Walker, president of the BEDC. “Specifically, the magazine reported that it would cost approximately 38 percent less to build and operate a data center here as compared to Boston. Data center operators will bring new investment, new job creation and additional exposure to our community. In addition, the creation of shared data center space will greatly assist existing and start-up companies, regardless of the industry.”

Walker added that development of data center-ready sites fits well with the Bloomington Technology Partnership’s efforts to strengthen and build recognition of Bloomington’s technology business community. This public-private partnership was created in 2008 to foster the growth of Bloomington’s emerging high-tech economy.

The grant is made possible through Duke Energy’s Community Growth Partnership Grant Program and is aimed at generating new jobs and capital investment in Indiana. Over the past three years, Duke Energy has awarded 15 of these grants totaling more than $198,000 to Indiana economic development organizations.

Historically, Duke Energy has made a strong commitment to economic development throughout its service territory. As a result of its leadership role in this arena, Duke Energy has received Site Selection Magazine’s Top Ten Utility Economic Development Award for 11 consecutive years.

Duke Energy Indiana’s operations provide 6,500 megawatts of electricity capacity to approximately 780,000 customers, making it the state’s largest electric supplier.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 500 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available on the Internet at: www.duke-energy.com.

About BEDC

The BEDC is the lead business retention, development and attraction entity for Bloomington and Monroe County, Indiana. The BEDC serves as the lead intermediary between local businesses and state and federal economic development assistance programs. The BEDC is also the host for the Bloomington Life Sciences Partnership (BLSP) and the Bloomington Technology Partnership (BTP). Further information about the BEDC is available at www.comparebloomington.us.