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Another Prineville Secret: Third Data Center?


With a plan for the future, the city of Prineville is ready for more data centers to come to town, and they just might get their wish.

Facebook already has a data center built and is in the middle of building a second.

The new facilities have caught the eye of other big name companies like Apple, who recently purchased land in Crook County.

And there’s talk of a third, code-named “Project Jasper,” that like the others involve non-disclosure agreements, so local officials can’t talk about them until announcements are made or public records prove their intentions, as the Apple land purchase did.

“The presence of Facebook in Prineville has played a major role in our ability to have discussions with other companies,” said Jason Carr, Crook County coordinator with Economic Development of Central Oregon.

Prineville City Manager Steve Forrester told NewsChannel 21 Thursday that the Bonneville Power Administration has moved up the date for new upgrades to bring more electricity to the region.

He also said the city recently drilled several test wells near the airport to find more water.

“We are comfortable in the fact that we do have additional water capacity that can be developed,” Forrester said.

Facebook also paid for a study to determine the feasibility of using treated wastewater — so-called “greywater” — from the city in the data centers. Forester says that would add another resource for development.

The city is excited about the opportunity to have other big names companies wanting to build.

In 2011, Facebook says its data center was linked to $21.3 million in economic activity in Central Oregon

That number includes nearly $6 million in personal income and 111 jobs for workers and business owners in the region.

“Right now, the data center industry is providing the most benefit for us,” said Carr, “It provides us with the opportunity to grow the economy and provide jobs.”

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