Work on a data center campus first put forward in 2019 appears to have begun in Lincoln, Nebraska.
The Lincoln Journal Star reports the project appears to be moving forward, with some groundwork occurring over the last few months.
Agate LLC first filed for a $600 million data center campus in Lancaster County in July 2019. The company is planning to develop two million sq ft (185,800 sqm) of data center space on more than 570 acres of farmland bounded by N. 40th Street, Highway 77, Interstate 80 and Bluff Road. A substation is located close by across Highway 77.
The shell company gained approval for its request in September that year. Agate acquired the land at 8905 and 9385 N 56th Street from the Brager and White Family LLCs for around $18.6 million in total.
Local developers and landowners John Brager, Tom Schleich, and Tom White previously proposed developing a large commercial center at the site, but the project never got off the ground, according to the Star-Journal.
The company behind Agate is still unclear, but the Star-Journal links the site to Google, which has a number of other campuses in Nebraska centered around Omaha.
However, no company has ever made an official announcement about the project, and until now nothing has been built on the site.
2023 has seen Agate file a request with the US Army Corps of Engineers to develop the data center, suggesting plans may soon be in motion.
The filing notes Agate LLC proposes to construct a hyperscale data center campus on a 635-acre parcel, which would permanently impact a total of 2.82 acres of wetland. Site plans suggest a new on-site substation, but the number of buildings is unclear.
The Star-Journal also noted that in February, the project sought an administrative amendment to its original application, seeking to "provide street profiles, grading and draining, and water quality information so the applicant may proceed with a building permit and/or final plat."
At a recent board meeting, the Lincoln Electric System approved a resolution to allow its CEO to negotiate a one-year facility extension and interconnection agreement with Agate LLC.
Google has three data center projects in the Omaha area, some 60 miles from Lincoln; one in Papillion, where the company broke ground in 2019; and one across the border in Iowa's nearby Council Bluffs which the search giant established in 2007.
Last year the company announced plans to build another data center in Omaha, near State Street and Blair High Road to the northwest of the city.
Meta also has a campus in Papillion. Neither Microsoft nor Amazon have a data center presence in the state currently.