Compass Datacenters plans to erect a second data center for American Electric Power in Columbus, Ohio.

The utility last month announced it would build a 22,000 square foot (2,040 sq m) backup data center in Groveport, which is likely to be the same facility. Compass did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Pointing Midwest 

Columbus, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio – Getty Images

Aside from being the location of AEP’s headquarters, Ohio is a relatively popular site for data centers. The 116,096 km² (44,824 square mile) state isn’t densely built out and therefore has an abundance of constructible land; its climate is also favorable to the use of free cooling systems.

Columbus is home to more than 50 data centers and is the most densely connected location in Ohio, and its electrical infrastructure is the most reliable in the region.

If Compass’ construction is indeed the Groveport site, it will be built to meet Tier III standards, and will represent an investment of $125m for AEP, which serves more than five million people in eleven states across the US and operates the country’s largest energy transmission system, spanning 224,000 miles (360,500 km)

Just like all utilities, it relies on IT systems in order to process bills, manage its inventories and store records. The Columbus data center will serve this purpose as well as being a disaster recovery site, and will connect to AEP’s other facility in New Albany using AEP’s own private fiber optic network.

Compass Datacenters designs, manufactures and operates single occupant data centers to order, delivering 1.2MW building blocks “in any raised floor configuration.” It reportedly offers 75 personalization options, single rack densities of up to 30kW, and water free cooling.

Earlier this year, the company received the all-clear to build a 760,000 square foot (70,600 sq m) data center in Loudoun County, having amended its original plans to soothe local residents’ environmental concerns.

And, in the face of increasing interest in distributed, edge of the network compute, the company has, in addition to the enterprise and cloud facilities it used to specialize in, expanded its offering to provide edge data centers also. In February, it bought edge startups EdgePoint and BitBox