April 12, 2018

Developers pitch $1B N. Britain fuel-cell powered data center

EIP proposal to DEEP
EIP proposal to DEEP
Stanley before and after potential featuring a repurposed building and new infill along the site’s existing rail line.
EIP proposal to DEEP
The new rail and bus access to Stanley Works will allow for TOD infill adjacent to the site’s existing industrial structures.

Developers proposing to build a fuel-cell powered data center on New Britain manufacturing properties owned by Stanley Black & Decker are hoping the second time's the charm.

The developers, Energy & Innovation Park LLC (EIP), recently submitted a $1 billion proposal to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to build a 20-megawatt fuel-cell park and high-tech data center on the manufacturer's historic campus. Stanley is in support of the project, and Mayor Erin Stewart also submitted a letter of support in the bid.

The project is expected to create a total of 3,000 jobs over the next decade, generate $8 million in tax revenues for New Britain over 20 years and $45 million when the development is completed, according to EIP. The state would also reap $200 million in tax revenues upon completion, it said.

The development team's previous bid in 2016 said the innovation park could include $500 million in capital investments from outside investors, however, those estimates only covered the construction cost of the data center, Mark Wick, a partner in the project, said Thursday.

Wick said the $1 billion price tag includes all four phases of the project, including the value of the IT equipment at the data center, as well as the potential for adding another 44 megawatts of on-site generation in the later phases. Over the last year and a half, he says the developers have been able to work with suppliers and energy partners to reduce its bid price significantly. However, pricing information on EIP's bid and many others submitted to DEEP this month was redacted from public view.

EIP's recent proposal is nearly unchanged, although Wick says the team's financial investors have "significantly enhanced" their access to capital and improved their ability to deliver lower prices for power.

"We feel we are in a much better position to reduce our delivery costs of energy in this proposal," he said.

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