October 18, 2013
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Groundbreaking of Yahoo's New State-of-the-Art Data and Customer Care Center in Lockport

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that Yahoo has broken ground on the expansion of its East Coast data center complex in the Town of Lockport. The expansion will lead to additional data center capacity and a new 24-hour customer care call center, which together will result in 115 new, well-paying jobs and a capital investment of $170 million.


Yahoos decision to expand their operations in Lockport is a testament to the progress New York is making in attracting private investment and spurring job growth, Governor Cuomo said. With strong assets like world-class universities and colleges, low-cost hydropower, and a dedicated workforce, Western New York is well-equipped to meet the needs of the high-tech industry. Todays groundbreaking will bring more than 100 jobs to the community, and I congratulate Yahoo on this milestone.


The New York Power Authority (NYPA) will provide a 7.2 megawatt (MW) allocation of low-cost hydropower for the 150,000-square-foot expansion of Yahoos existing data center. The allocation, which was approved by the NYPA Board of Trustees last March, is in addition to 16 MW of hydropower that the data center currently receives. Top officials from NYPA and Yahoo were joined on Friday by local elected and economic development officials at the site of the planned expansion. Yahoo is the worlds largest network of integrated internet services with more than half a billion users worldwide.


Governor Cuomo has a strong focus on creating an environment where businesses can thrive, and Yahoo is a great example of an internationally recognized company that chooses to invest in New York State, Lieutenant Governor Robert J. Duffy said. Yahoo has consistently delivered for Western New York by providing good jobs for the local workforce and demonstrating that the region is a great place to do business. Their expansion plans and decision to locate a new customer care center in Lockport will continue the economic momentum and energy here in Western New York.


We are thrilled to expand our team and our facilities in Lockport, New York," said Richard Kropfl, vice president of Data Center Operations at Yahoo. Western New York has been a wonderful home for us, with an incredibly talented community, clean energy from hydropower and temperate weather that enables our energy efficient free cooling design for data centers. We greatly appreciate the support that weve received from Governor Cuomo and New York State and local authorities as we have expanded our footprint in Lockport."


Yahoo is a technology company that provides search, content and communications tools on the web and across mobile devices worldwide. In addition to a free search capability, Yahoo also gives users access to Yahoo News, Sports, Finance and Entertainment, Flickr and 20 additional applications. The company also has marketing services that drive advertisers directly to their customer base.


Yahoo currently has a commitment to create 140 jobs at its existing Data Center located in Lockport, which is the companys showcase facility in the U.S. It incorporates cutting-edge technology with best practices of green construction. The expansion of the facility and the new customer call center will follow the same sustainable priorities. This includes the facilitys full electricity needs being met by clean, renewable power from NYPAs Niagara Hydroelectric Power Plant in Lewiston.


The expansion projects sustainable design will facilitate the use of moderate to cold outside air for cooling the data centers servers, consistent with the current facilitys features. The Yahoo campus will use 40 percent less electricity and 95 percent less water compared to conventional data centers. Yahoos East Coast data center is the companys second largest and most efficient worldwide.


In addition to the economic development benefits from its Lockport expansion, including $2 million in performance-based Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits from Empire State Development, Yahoo will contribute $500,000 per year to the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, a not-for-profit organization that administers charitable funds for the benefit of Western New York. The funding will be used to advance specific priority economic development strategies identified by the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council.


NYPA chairman John R. Koelmel said, "The groundbreaking for Yahoo's expanded data center and new customer call center is another significant milestone to advance the development of a high-tech economy in Western New York, and the corresponding job growth. Western New York possesses two of New York State's greatest assets low-cost hydropower from the Niagara Power Plant and a talented workforce. The importance of these assets is underscored by Yahoo's Lockport expansion, which directly results from the continual savings the company will receive from its hydropower allotment."


New York has made significant strides under Governor Cuomos leadership to spur the expansion of the green technology and digital sectors of the states economy with companies like Yahoo, said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and chief executive officer. NYPAs low-cost Niagara hydropower was a key element in bringing Yahoos new jobs and major capital investments to Western New York.


Western New Yorks rapidly growing professional services sector is distinguished by several success stories, including Yahoo, said Empire State Development president and chief executive officer Kenneth Adams. High-end back office operations and technology service centers, like Yahoo, are locating and expanding in the region, primarily because of the access to a high quality, educated workforce and the states competitive incentives. I thank Yahoo for its commitment to Western New York as it continues to fuel the local economy.


Senator George D. Maziarz said, As a resident of Western New York who has devoted his life to public service, todays groundbreaking for Yahoos new data and customer call care center has very personal meaning for me. My career has been dedicated to improving the quality of life for the families of Western New York. Yahoos commitment to support and create hundreds of jobs in Lockport, its dedication to purchasing goods and services from local businesses, and its practice of giving back to communities where its facilities are located underscore the importance of the partnership that New York State and Western New York have forged with the company.


Assemblywoman Jane Corwin said, Yahoos commitment to Lockport and Western New York continues to build upon the economic growth and development that our region has begun to realize over the past year. We must continue to support business expansion in our state to create jobs and grow our economy for the future. I applaud both Yahoo and NYPA for their success, efforts and commitment to our region. This is a great day for Western New York and Yahoo.


Dr. Satish K. Tripathi, co-chair of the Western New York Economic Development Council and president of the University at Buffalo, said, Yahoo recognizes the opportunity that comes with being in close geographic proximity to the excellent colleges and universities in our Western New York region. Our higher education graduates from the fields of engineering to systems analysis to finance are what fuels growth for 21st century innovation economies.


Howard A. Zemsky, co-chair of the Western New York Economic Development Council and managing partner at Larkin Development Group, said, The rigorous training received at our colleges and universities provides a ready pool of highly technical innovators. Yahoos commitment to expand its data center in Lockport is further proof that when it comes to hiring a workforce that is ready to face the challenges of tomorrow they need look no further than our own community.


Lockport town supervisor Marc Smith said, We are proud that Yahoo has chosen this town to expand its operations, making Lockport and New York State global leaders in green, sustainable datacenter design. We look forward to continuing this powerful partnership.


William L. Ross, chairman of the Niagara County Legislature, said, Yahoos expansion is proof positive that Governor Cuomos bottoms up, top down approach is working. New York States and Niagara Countys greatest resources: hydropower, a cool climate and a motivated workforce were key factors in Yahoos expansion decision. It is another example of how Western New York is a national leader in high technology.


The Lockport Industrial Development Agency [IDA] worked closely with NYPA and Empire State Development to make sure we were coordinated in maximizing benefits to the community from Yahoos expansion plans, said David R. Kinyon, executive director, Lockport IDA and Lockport Economic Development director. Our successful efforts are an extension of Governor Cuomos belief in the power of the private- and public-sector partnerships.