Yahoo! opens in Niagara County

September 21, 2010 Updated Sep 21, 2010 at 7:24 AM EDT

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September 21, 2010 Updated Sep 21, 2010 at 7:24 AM EDT

Yahoo! Inc.'s Northeast Data Center in the Town of Lockport Industrial Park has come online.

The traditional ribbon cutting on Monday of the 180,000-square-foot back-office operation marked the California company's arrival in Western New York.

The center was built on a 30-acre site and it may be expanded if Yahoo! meets internal growth expectations. The facility will employ 125 workers.

Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO) said the facility "uses a combination of innovative data center design and Lockport's naturally cool climate to dramatically decrease its electricity use throughout the year."

The Lockport facility will have the first implementation of Yahoo's green data center design, called the Yahoo Computing Coop. The design was recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy this year with a sustainability grant of $9.9 million.

Yahoo said the data center will consume at least 40 percent less energy, and at least 95 percent less water than conventional data centers. Also, it will save enough energy to power more than 9,000 New York state households annually and to power approximately 1.1 million laptops for a year.

Economic development officials noted Western New York beat out a number of other places for the data center, including Illinois and Long Island.

The deal was formally announced in June 2009 and by late that summer, construction had started.

In fact, because of Yahoo!, the region is on Twitter's short list for Northeastern sites for its own data center.

Twitter is expected to make a decision sometime this fall. At stake is a 150,000-square-foot building that could house more than 100 workers, according to sources.

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