Crypto-mining site coming to Fayetteville?

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Graphic from the High Compute Data Centers website.
Graphic from the High Compute Data Centers website.

UPDATED THURSDAY EVENING — The discussion about a 60-acre high-tech campus in west Fayetteville will have to wait until the new year. Mayor Ed Johnson announced at the City Council meeting Thursday evening that the issue has been tabled for now. Since the council also canceled the final scheduled meeting in December, the disposition of the site plan cannot occur until the next council meeting in the new year.

Don’t expect to see caves and piles of dirt if crypto-mining comes to a proposed new data center on 60 acres at the intersection of Ga. Highway 54 and Veterans Parkway.

That’s one of the possible uses of 10 long sheds expected to be built in three phases in Fayette’s geographic center on what has been undeveloped pastures and woodland.

The Fayetteville City Council tonight is likely to approve will consider the issue in the new year. What’s proposed is a long-sought “high-tech campus” that will require megawatts of electricity and not many workers to operate it.

Data center structures. Graphic/City of Fayetteville.
Data center structures. Graphic/City of Fayetteville.

That campus eventually will house 10 metal buildings with louvers for ventilating the heat produced by banks of computers engaged in things like crypto-mining. What’s that, you ask?

“In cryptocurrency networks, mining is a validation of transactions,” says Wikipedia, and mining requires ever-increasing needs for specialized computer chips with higher levels — read faster — of performance. The sheds will generate a lot of heat.

Their primary need: Lots of electrical power to power the computers themselves and the cooling system and fans needed to cool them. Two existing substations will serve the first phases, with a third substation — currently nonexistent — to be built later.

The company seeking the conceptual site plan approval at the council meeting tonight is JKL One Land GA, LLC on behalf of High Compute Data Centers, a company that builds, provisions and manages data centers for clients.

The Fayetteville Planning and Zoning Commission has already given its approval for the project.

Rendering of the proposed south exterior of the data center. Graphic/City of Fayetteville.
Rendering of the proposed south exterior of the data center. Graphic/City of Fayetteville.

From the council information packet, here’s what the council will hear about the center:

From the city’s planning staff: “Access to the property from Highway 54 and circulation within the data center complex would be provided by a gravel road. The Applicant indicated they envision a small number of employees on-site and traffic within the complex would be infrequent and primarily limited to service and repair visits.

“It is our understanding only that portion of the property to be utilized for the data center complex would be cleared and graded. A security fence with a controlled access gate would be installed along the perimeter of the property, and earthen berms and landscaping would be located between the security fence and the data center buildings for security purposes and to screen the use from future development on the adjoining property,” according to city planning staff.

Map shows plan for site.
Map shows plan for site.

Here’s what the company says about the project itself:

Project Narrative:

The High Compute Data Center Complex is designed as a master-planned phased project to be situated on approximately 60 acres in a location as detailed on the site plan.

The land parcel is under contract with ownership with due diligence items in process including civil engineering and site planning, architectural planning, power company engagement and economic incentives discussions at the local and state level.

The Data Center Complex is designed as a long-term project to serve the high compute requirements of crypto-mining and future opportunities including artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Project Details:

The Data Center Complex is scheduled for three (3) phases based upon power availability and delivery of power by the power company. Phase 1 and 2 will be served by the existing substation adjacent to the site. Phase 3 will be served by a new substation to be built by the power company for which land has been allocated per the site plan for the new substation.

Phase 1 consists of 30 megawatts (MW) of modular containerized data center buildings which will be installed on concrete pads and served by transformers with power delivered underground by the power company.

Additionally, Phase 1 consists of a new one-story 250’ x 50’ storage building which shall serve as equipment housing until converted to a data center in Phase 3.

Phase 2 consists of 50 MWs which will consist of 2 one-story – 25 MW new construction buildings of approximately 250’ x 50’.

Phase 3 consists of 7 – 25 MW new construction data centers of approximately 250’ x 50’ dimensions for each one-story building.

The storage building developed in Phase 1 will be converted to a data center during Phase 3 development.

Building and Site Characteristics:

The site plan outlines a portion of the total 60 acres parcel. The site area will be graded to accommodate the data center buildings as shown on the site design. The complex will have a gated entrance, site area fencing and landscaping. Landscaping shall include a mixture of plantings including evergreen trees to assist with screening and general aesthetics of the complex.

Site area shall consist of the buildings which will be placed and built on concrete pads and surrounded by pervious gravel or similar installation rock to allow for access to the multiple facilities and parking on the site.

The Phase 1 modular buildings shall be placed on concrete pads and consist of metal sides with louvres for air intake and heat dissipation and also have a metal roof. Each modular building will be served by their own separate power transformer(s).

The Phase 2 and 3 buildings shall be approximately 250’ x 50’ and consist of metal siding with louvres for air intake and exhaust and a metal roof. Each building in these phases shall be served by separate transformers.

The Phase 1 storage building shall be consistent with the size and materials as detailed for the Phase 2 and 3 buildings and be converted to a data center during Phase 3 of the overall project.

The Storage building and the Phase 2 and 3 building shall approximately [height not provided] ft high at the peak with approximately 16’ at the eaves. The first row of the Phase 2 and Phase 3 buildings facing the gated entrance shall include organic graphics for aesthetic appeal. — Information taken from the city council packet.

13 COMMENTS

  1. KEEP IT OUT of Fayette County! We do not need this kind of unsightly, energy hog that will benefit FEW – if ANY – Fayette residents. There will be very few jobs and the economic benefits will be MINIMAL for the county and its residents. I strongly urge the DISAPPROVAL of this RUSTY BOAT ANCHOR of a misplaced and wasteful project!

          • Benefits to whom? Why should anyone else expect a benefit? A company is willing to invest in infrastructure here locally, risking their own capital to do so. That is all.

            Web 3.0 technologies powered by cryptographic blockchain solutions and AI will create tens of trillions in new wealth for everyone over the next decade. Fayette County has an opportunity to demonstrate now both the willingness and ability to accommodate the infrastructure that supports that.

          • Municipalities (and power companies) generally love this kind of business because they do generate a lot of taxes without bringing in a lot of employees that will impact roads and schools. A freebie, if you will.
            Data centers (such as Google’s) are another business that generates a lot of tax revenue and uses lots and lot of electricity without impacting roads and schools.
            Not much for job creation, but good for increasing the county’s tax base.

          • I am onboard with PTC and the Bee. Companies are in the business of making a profit for their shareholders, not pleasing the community. As long as they pay their taxes and utility bills, they are welcome.

          • If you have a concern over apartment complexes, then maybe push for zoning law reforms to make it possible to build affordable single family housing. Working families cannot afford these 2,500 sqft mini-mansions being built today and minimum square foot requirements won’t let anyone build more sensible 1,100 sqft houses.

            Simply having this datacenter in our community will yield incremental benefits. Companies looking for talent and infrastructure to support their plans for growth into Web 3.0 will see this datacenter as an asset, and will see this area as a viable alternative to Silicon Valley in terms of affordability and access to capital markets.

            Frankly, I don’t know why these people would want to locate here. They can find cheap land down in Thomaston right next to the Addison generating plant and have easy access to 675MW of capacity. Resurgence IG has one of the largest dark fiber lines in the South East running by a few miles away, giving them access to a Tier 1 backbone for high speed data. And Upson County will gladly roll out the red carpet for them.

          • Just trying to keep up with the “pulse” of the community.

            I agree about the “why locate here”…the land value has to be higher than other places…maybe they can’t get the power elsewhere..or it costs more…

            I really do see the point, possibly…we shall see how it turns out.

            Frankly, I’m not interested in having 1100 square foot homes built.

          • PTCitizen – I too am curious why they might choose this area. I looked at the locations of their other sites and they are near fairly large metropolitan areas. Besides the land cost, taxes, and power requirements, do they need to be located near a fairly large city?