WILLISTON, ND – Embracing new technology to enhance communities has become a goal for state and local officials in northwest North Dakota. On Wednesday in Williston, Governor Doug Burgum announced an exciting new project that he says he hopes will make the state a leader in a relatively new field.
Williston is now the home of the Atlas Power Data Center, a $1.9 billion project that is expected to be one of the largest in the world. It will provide opportunities for mining valuable cryptocurrencies and advanced computing operations.
For years, North Dakota has been branching out from just being known for oil, gas, and agriculture.
“We have so many things going for us right now,” said Burgum.
Among carbon capture and clean energy utilization, data storage and high-end computing is just the latest field that North Dakota wants to be a leader in.
“I see this dynamic industry as the modern-day equivalent of the internet room in the 90s,” said Kevin Washington, Founder of Atlas Power.
FX Solutions and Atlas Power are partnering with Mountrail Williams Electric Cooperative to create a 77-acre facility which will, when completed, draw out more than 700 megawatts of power to mine cryptocurrencies and complete complex computing computations.
“We understand the climate, we understand the work ethic in Williston and we’re really, really happy to be here,” said Richard Tabish, President of FX Solutions.
For Williston and the region, this project is just another way to diversify the economy, making it easier to withstand oil downturns.
“We’re adding value to the electricity that we are producing here and so that’s what is going to help us level out and get out of the boom-and-bust cycle that we are in,” said Burgum.
Officials in charge of construction say it will require more than 100 workers to complete and will create 30 permanent jobs for the area.
Sitework has already begun west of Williston and officials expect fans to be spinning at this facility as early as April.
Phase one of the project is slated to be completed in 2024.
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