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Global data company to create $1B tech hub in York County

Ross Norton //September 19, 2023//

Global data company to create $1B tech hub in York County

Ross Norton //September 19, 2023//

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Editor's note: This story was updated Sept. 20, 2023.

QTS Data Centers, a global provider of colocation data center infrastructure and related services, will establish operations in York County with a $1 billion investment in the company’s first South Carolina site.

It is the ninth time a company has announced its intention to invest $1 billion in South Carolina.

The company said in a news release that its center will help establish a technology hub in York County.

Data centers power the internet and the digital economy while serving as an economic anchor in the areas where they operate, the Commerce Department news release said.

“QTS is pleased to announce our expansion in York County … with a new campus that supports growth for QTS and its partners,” QTS CEO Chad Williams said in the release. “Our investment in York County is consistent with QTS’ strategy of securing access to infrastructure at scale in strategic markets to support accelerating demand from our hyperscale, enterprise and government customer base. We look forward to partnering with the community along with local and state leadership, further enhancing South Carolina as a leading technology center."  

The QTS campus, which will be located near Hands Mill Highway and Campbell Road in unincorporated York County, will utilize carbon-free power when feasible and leverage industry-leading, water-saving technology that uses zero water for cooling its customers’ environments, the company said in the release.

“QTS Data Centers' $1 billion investment in York County reflects our community's commitment to a brighter future,” County Council Chairwoman Christi Cox said in the release. “Their presence here will significantly boost public school funding and broaden our tax base. We extend thanks to our local utility partners for their invaluable support in making this vision a reality.”

When available, job opportunities will be posted on the company’s website.

The Commerce Department Coordinating Council for Economic Development awarded a $200,000 Set-Aside grant to York County to assist with the costs of site preparation.

According to the company’s website, QTS has 27 other data centers across the United States, with two in Georgia and five in Virginia being the closest to the Palmetto State.

“With QTS Data Centers establishing operations in York County, South Carolina continues to add to its already impressive technology industry,” Gov. Henry McMaster said in the release. “We celebrate their significant investment and look forward to seeing the positive impact they will have in York County and across the state.” 

According to the S.C. Office of the Governor, companies have announced an investment of $1 billion or more eight other times in state history — half of them in the last two years. The largest of them is Redwood Materials’ plan for a $3.5 billion facility in Berkeley County as part of its anode and cathode battery operation. The company predicts 1,500 jobs at the site. See our original story here.

Two of the billion-dollar announcements came from BMW,  a $1.7 billion announcement last year that included a $1 billion to expand its existing plant in Greer and a new $700 million battery production plant in Woodruff.  In 2014 the company announced a $1 billion expansion. Since BMW's arrival in South Carolina in 1992, the total investment in expansions and new facilities comes to more than $12.4 billion, the company said.

In March of this year a North Carolina-based company, Albemarle Corp., said it would invest at least $1.3 billion to build a lithium hydroxide processing facility in Chester County.

Scout Motors earlier this year brought the Midlands into South Carolina’s auto manufacturing ecosystem with a $2 billion to bring back the Scout vehicle — this time as an electric vehicle built in Richland County.

Anderson County got the state’s first billion-dollar commitment in 2010 when First Quality Tissue announced plans to make towels and tissue products. Boeing announced in 2013 it would spend $1 billion to bring part of its 787 Dreamliner production to North Charleston, which since then has become the home of the Dreamliner program. Toray Industries, based in Japan, announced its plans to spend $1 billion on a Spartanburg County plant in 2014.