Montana Data Center Takes Advantage of Wind Power


The Port of Northern Montana has solidified an arrangement with project developer and owner NaturEner USA to bring an initial 10 MW of wind energy to its Shelby Data Center Development Park, originating from the nearby Glacier Wind Farm.

The 210 MW Glacier Wind Farm is located in northern Montana outside of Ethridge in the Rocky Mountains. Completed in 2009, Mortenson built the project. It features 140 1.5 MW Acciona turbines.

The wind power currently available at the Shelby Data Center Development Park is priced at 4 to 4.5 cents per kilowatt hour. The Port of Northern Montana is planning to secure up to 30 MW for the development park by the end of 2020, at around 3.5 to 4 cents per kWh.

Following initial passage and approval in 2017, the Montana Legislature in 2019 revised a tax incentive to expand it for certain qualifying data centers to attract more cloud computing development to areas such as Shelby. The Montana data center property tax incentive/abatement, combined with significant local renewable electrical power capacity, makes Shelby an attractive and competitive site for large data center development, according to the Port of Northern Montana.

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