AEP prequalifies Bradley Square in Raleigh Co. for data center - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

AEP prequalifies Bradley Square in Raleigh Co. for data center

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Bradley Square north of Beckley is one of nine sites AEP has prequalified in its 11-state territory as suitable for locating a data center, according to a June 28 media release from the company.

It's part of a model in which utilities engage in economic development, and it's a welcome boost for Judy Radford, executive director of the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority, which is promoting the site.

AEP called her in 2012 about Bradley Square.

"They said, ‘We have identified a site in your area that we think would qualify for a data center,'" she said. "That was based on the power they had in place. We had to make sure we had all the other utilities and the telecommunications. We pretty much have what they are looking for."

Radford describes the site as 82 flat acres located on U.S. Route 19, or Corridor L, about 10 minutes from downtown Beckley.

AEP's description on its website also notes that there is an additional Phase II parcel of about 16 acres.

"I hope that eventually we see the location of a data center because it would be huge," Radford said.  

"That would just be a huge investment and wonderful, higher-paying jobs and on and on. It's good for AEP because a data center will need some serious power — it's a way for them to sell their product. And AEP will do the marketing, identify the prospects, and bring them in to look," she said. "This puts us ahead as far as a data center is concerned."

In addition to Bradley Square, the nine sites prequalified by AEP with the assistance of site selection firm Biggins Lacy Shapiro & Co. are located in Indiana, Louisiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia.

Also as part of its effort to promote economic development, AEP includes sites and buildings available in West Virginia in the online Location One Information System, or LOIS, site search database.