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Red Dog Technologies, Washington County & BrightRidge reach agreement on data center
JOHNSON CITY -- An agreement has been approved by the Washington County Commission, Red Dog Technologies and BrightRidge that allows Red Dog to continue operating in Limestone while a new site is prepared.
The agreement, approved Thursday night by the Washington County Commission, was approved by the BrightRidge Board of Directors at a called meeting Friday.
“BrightRidge is deeply grateful of the dialogue between Washington County and Red Dog Technologies on how best to resolve the blockchain data center matter, and thankful for the patience of residents as we have worked to reach a comprehensive solution that considers all concerned,” BrightRidge CEO Jeff Dykes said.
The agreement includes sound level restrictions for a new Red Dog location at the Washington County Industrial Park; mandates closure of Red Dog’s Limestone location by Dec. 31, 2024; and includes a BrightRidge commitment to promptly extend high-speed broadband to residents near the existing data center. Broadband service to Red Dog data center neighbors in Limestone will be provided free of charge while the data center operates at the location.
Dykes also emphasized the importance of Red Dog as a customer and its benefit to all BrightRidge electric customers.
“Block chain data centers such as the Red Dog facility offer a very rare high-usage customer, with high usage during off-peak hours when electricity demand is much lower,” Dykes said. “Revenue generated by the facility benefits all BrightRidge electric customers by holding down rates overall, a difficult goal given high inflation and ongoing supply chain disruptions.”
Despite the disagreement, BrightRidge is appreciative that Washington County government continued to engage with open dialogue on both the data center matter and how best to expand broadband availability in rural areas.
“From the outset, we indicated that we can’t let disagreement over this issue hinder dialogue on other important issues facing our community, such as broadband access,” Dykes said. “To the credit of the Washington County Commission, we have continued to work collectively to make progress on other important issues in our region while collaboratively working to solve the data center issue.”
BrightRidge is a publicly owned electric utility serving more than 81,000 customers in Washington, Sullivan, Carter and Greene counties. It is the 10th largest local power company in the Tennessee Valley Authority service area. The company’s BrightRidge Broadband division offers nation-leading 10GB symmetrical broadband delivered via fiber to the premise to more 23,000 locations in its service area.