Work to Begin on Power Plant-to-Data Center Project

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(rendering courtesy The Times of Northwest Indiana) (rendering courtesy The Times of Northwest Indiana)

Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott and Governor Eric Holcomb will take part in a groundbreaking Wednesday on a $40 million industrial redevelopment project. Indiana NAP is a venture created to transform the former State Line Generating Facility in the Lake County city into the Digital Crossroads of America Data Center. In an interview featured in July in our quarterly INPower energy innovation publication, Indianapolis attorney Tom Dakich, who is co-leading the effort, said he expects the total investment to grow as high as $200 million in the coming years.

"The mayor's office has basically said, 'Tom, don't mess up my project,' you know, 'Tom, you get this thing closed, you keep moving ahead,' and it's been completely collaborative the whole time, The governor's office has been the same way, except they keep saying to me 'what do you need, Tom, what do you need to get this closed?'" he said. The project was also pitched in Illinois, but Dakich says there was a stark difference in dealings with officials in that state. "In Illinois, the mayor's office and the governor's office, all they wanted to do was argue with us, so there's no spirit of collaboration there. In Indiana, the mayor and the governor could not be any better." Dakich is partnering with Peter Feldman, a longtime data center industry executive from New York who is serving as chairman and chief executive officer of Indiana NAP.

The state has approved $9 million in conditional tax incentives for the center, which includes plans for a 105,000 square-foot data center, tech incubator and greenhouse space at the 77-acre site of the old power generation plant on the Lake Michigan shoreline. Potential additional phases of the project would involve some 300,000 additional space.

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