The market for new data centers is poised for another year of growth in 2013, with several large projects on the drawing boards. McGraw-Hill Construction recently reported that General Motors is planning to build a $150 million General Motors Data Center in Milford Mich., and according to a post at www.datacenterknowledge.com, planning continues for a $1.5 billion project by a yet-to-be-named company now scouting sites in Altoona, Iowa, and Kearney, Neb. Nebraska and Iowa are reportedly popular locations for data centers because of an extensive telecom fiber network that was installed years ago. Google, Yahoo and Fidelity Investments already have data centers either in operation or under construction in the region.

There’s also a concentration of data center activity in the New York metropolitan area and Connecticut, where Digital Reality Trust, a large real estate investment trust (REIT) that focuses on data centers, late last year acquired a 271,000-square-foot space on 34 acres of land in Totowa, N.J., just outside New York City, to develop the existing building to accommodate 15 megawatts of critical IT load and construct a 50 megawatt onsite substation to support the development of additional data center capacity in future phases.

Cervalis LLC, Shelton, Conn., which hosts data operations for companies in this region, recently broke ground on a 170,000-square-foot operations center in Fairfield County, Conn., that will accommodate customers that need customized data centers. The company recently released a press statement that said opportunities for growth in New Jersey’s data center market continue in part because of concerns over outages at existing facilities from Superstorm Sandy.

Another big player in the data center market, Equinix Inc., Redwood City, Calif., also recently announced the opening of a new expansion to an existing facility, the International Business Exchange data center located in downtown Seattle. The company said the facility will add approximately 51,000 square feet of data center space and capacity for more than 1,000 cabinet equivalents to Equinix’s presence in the Seattle market. The company currently operates in 31 markets around the world.

In related news on the data center front, Schneider Electric recently announced the expansion of its data center business with the launch of the Schneider Electric Mission Critical Services & Software division, based in West Kingston, R.I. (See related executive appointments on page 31.)