NEW BRITAIN-Farmington-based Thunderbird CHP has been in talks with the city for several years to develop a data center powered by fuel cells on the Western side of the property.
“We’re still continuing to speak with developers. There’s a lot of moving parts, but we are getting extremely close to seeing this come to fruition and making it into a reality,” Bill Carroll, director of the New Britain Department of Economic Development, said.
“As far as the developers themselves and their partners and investors, and the city, we feel like we can make this fuel-cell tech park a reality.”
According to the Hartford Business Journal, the project would resemble the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center in Holyoke, Mass.
The Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center is a joint venture of the University of Massachusetts schools, MIT, Harvard, Boston University and Northeastern as well as EMC Corp. of Hopkinton, Mass., an information storage, back-up and recovery firm, and Cisco Systems Inc., a California-based internet network equipment maker.
Harvard’s website states that the Center is used to support the growing research computing needs of all institutions stated above and other universities world-wide.
Much like the property in New Britain, the land that the Center in Holyoke sits on has industrial roots, in the early 1900s it housed a textile mill.
Completed in November 2012, the 90,000 square foot, 15 megawatt facility currently runs millions of virtual experiments per month, as stated on the Center’s website.
The tech park in New Britain could include $500 million in capital investment, and Thunderbird hopes it can be a hub for users such as ESPN, the University of Connecticut and Yale University, according to the Hartford Business Journal.
UConn economist Fred Carstensen, who was commissioned by Thunderbird to do a report, said the project could create 1,000 jobs and more tax revenue for New Britain.
Carroll said an announcement about the project could come sometime this year.