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Denver Good Location For Data Centers

H5 Data Centers purchased a 300K SF data center at the Denver Tech Center in 2014.

Since it acquired its 300K SF data center on more than 12 acres at the Denver Tech Center in early 2014, H5 Data Centers has invested nearly $20M in mechanical and electrical upgrades, energy efficiency improvements and physical data center build-outs.

H5, which designs and engineers flexible and scalable data center and interconnection solutions, manages more than 2M SF of data centers in 13 U.S. markets: Albuquerque, Ashburn, Atlanta, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Phoenix, Quincy, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, San Antonio and Seattle.

H5 chose Denver because it is a centrally located city on the rise and there is demand from Fortune 500 companies, said H5 Chief Operating Officer David Dunn, a panelist at Bisnow's Data Center Investment Conference & Expo on June 13.

Among the topics the conference will cover are how increased power density and cooling capacity impact site selection, how the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence will impact data center demand and what the growth of micro data centers, 5G and Edge computing innovations mean for today's data center requirements.

H5 Data Centers chose Denver for its central location.

“Denver is a growing market that has a lot less competition than Dallas and Chicago,” Dunn said. “It’s a safe place to locate a data center. There’s no flooding, tornadoes or hurricanes. We don’t really have a lot of risk here.”

H5’s Denver data center has engineering and security teams on-site around the clock; 18-wheeler secure loading dock access; and available office, staging, storage and conference room space. It is not adjacent to a railway, freeway or airport and is away from any flight paths that could jostle the sensitive equipment. 

Colorado’s dry, relatively cooler climate helps keep energy costs down, and Xcel Energy’s plans to substantially reduce its use of coal in favor of renewable energy make it an even more attractive location, Dunn said.

Last year, Xcel Energy announced plans to reduce carbon emissions 60% from 2005 levels by 2030, increase the level of renewable energy in its vehicle fleet to 55% and shut down half of its coal capacity in Colorado. 

H5 Data Centers' Denver location at the Denver Tech Center is not near a railway, freeway or airport.

“Historically, Colorado has been around 70% coal,” Dunn said. “A massive investment will take place in terms of wind and solar to supply the grid. It should reduce our all-in cost for energy, depending on how Xcel is able to pass costs onto consumers.”

Despite Denver’s attractive qualities, companies like Microsoft have chosen to locate in neighboring Wyoming. Microsoft received a sales tax abatement not offered to companies locating in Colorado.

“Colorado has not been aggressive on sales tax abatement on service equipment,” Dunn said. “Other states have. Any time you spend $100 on decent server equipment in Colorado, you’re paying 8% sales tax between the county and the state.”

Learn more at Bisnow's DICE Local: Denver, A Premium Data Center Investment Conference & Expo on June 13 at the Hilton Denver City Center.
Related Topics: David Dunn, H5 Data Centers