Yahoo! Chicken Coop Opens in Lockport

September 20, 2010 Updated Sep 20, 2010 at 9:05 PM EDT

By Ginger Geoffery

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September 20, 2010 Updated Sep 20, 2010 at 9:05 PM EDT

One of the world's most energy-efficient and cost-effective data centers can now be found in Lockport, NY. Yahoo! celebrated the grand opening of its 155,000 square foot facility in the Lockport Industrial Park on Monday. The center was built in 13 months with the help of a $9.9 million sustainability grant from the Department of Energy.

Yahoo! Executive Vice President of Service Engineering and Operations David Dibble calls the facility the "Yahoo! Chicken Coop" because the design resembles a chicken coop, but the environmentally-friendly facility will use 40% less energy and 95% less water than traditional data centers. Yahoo! executives and elected leaders suspect other companies will now try to copy Yahoo!'s Lockport design.

There are 50,000 computers housed in the Lockport data center that must be kept cool, and Western New York's cool climate is one of the factors that helped lure Yahoo! to the region. The Internet search engine giant is also receiving low-cost hydro-power from Niagara Falls.

The new center brings with it 125 new good-paying jobs. Phase one of the data center is already complete with phase two on schedule for completion within six months. Yahoo! could potentially add more local jobs in the future. One of the tasks now being accomplished by the Lockport location is the processing of Yahoo! Mail.

Several elected officials attended Monday's ribbon-cutting ceremony including Governor David Paterson (D-NY) and Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY).