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Data Centers Flock To Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham


Move over, Silicon Valley: North Carolina wants a piece of the data center pie.

Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham are quickly gaining ground in the data center industry, according to a new report from CBRE. The cities have seen a combined 40% increase in megawatt power since 2016: Charlotte has increased by 4.1MW and Raleigh by 6.4.

Data center developers have expressed interest in the region recently, drawn in part to the abundance of shuttered textile factories. CBRE’s Data Center Solutions Vice President Ben Rojahn also attributed low-cost land, power, and Duke Energy’s renewable energy interests as Charlotte attractions for the fast-growing industry.

Additionally, both Charlotte and Raleigh markets “are considered tech talent markets, with Charlotte showing the highest growth in tech talent in the nation, and Raleigh ranking among the top 10 markets,” Rojahn said.

Under the N.C. Mission Critical Operations curriculum, tech classes offered at community colleges prepare the workforce with skills necessary to work in these markets, Rojahn said. 

The U.S.’s seven major data center markets include Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, New York Tri-State Region, Northern Virginia, Phoenix and Silicon Valley, according to CBRE.