The city of Jackson has joined with six other cities in Georgia to provide electricity to a large data center being constructed in Adel.
Jackson City Council members approved the agreement with the cities of Barnesville, Monticello, Forsyth, Sylvania, Fitzgerald and Adel during a called meeting July 30. According to Jackson Mayor Kay Pippin, each city will provide a seventh of the electricity needed to power Blockstream USA Corp.’s facility in Adel.
Pippin said Blockstream develops software used in online transactions and provides computing capacity for other online retail uses. She said discussions surrounding Jackson’s involvement in the project began about two years ago.
Under an intergovernmental agreement among the seven cities, which she said Jackson was the last to approve, the municipalities will jointly fund the construction of the infrastructure needed to serve the Blockstream location, and share in the profits on the electricity sold to the company.
City officials say they’ve built safeguards into the agreement with Blockstream that will protect the municipalities’ investment should the project not come to fruition. Jackson officials also see the agreement as a potential boon to city coffers, which rely largely on profits from its electric utility along with sales taxes.
“If this thing goes, it will be a windfall for the city of Jackson, and if it does not, we have built in sufficient protections so that it does not damage the city of Jackson,” Pippin said.
Tim Haley, Jackson’s city attorney, said the seven municipalities will equally invest in the construction of the infrastructure to serve Blockstream’s location in the form of four feeder lines costing $250,000 each. He said the company has already posted a security deposit on those lines that would nearly cover the entire cost.
According to the intergovernmental agreement, Blockstream could use up to 270 megawatts of power at full capacity.
The agreement also calls for Blockstream to pay each month’s electric bill in advance. Under the agreement, Adel would cease service if the bill is not paid by the first of each month.