$14.5 Million MassDevelopment Financing to Support Construction of Holyoke High Performance Computing Center

October 26, 2011

Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 617-448-9077
Ray Howell, MGHPCC, 617-878-2018

MassDevelopment has provided a $14.5 million New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation to the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC), New England’s first high performance computing center. The financing will help fund the acquisition, construction, and permanent financing of the 90,300-square-foot center in Holyoke. MassDevelopment also participated in the early stages of site selection, managed the demolition of existing structures on the site, and provided assessment and remediation financing to Holyoke Gas & Electric to clean up the site.

“The High Performance Computing Center will grow our innovation economy and create new jobs in the region,” said Governor Deval Patrick. “Thanks to our investments, Massachusetts has become the national hub for innovation, and the High Performance Computing Center will help strengthen our spot as a world leader.”

“The new computing center testifies to what Massachusetts can accomplish through a collaborative focus on growing our innovation economy,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “This former brownfields site will become a sustainable center for academic research on climate change, life sciences, biofuels, and clean energy, helping the Commonwealth stay on the cutting edge of these important, job-producing fields.”

Investment in the MGHPCC totals $89 million. In addition to NMTC equity, those funds includes $50 million in equity investments from five Massachusetts universities – Boston University, MIT, Harvard, University of Massachusetts, and Northeastern – a $24.5 million grant from the Patrick-Murray Administration, and a $2.5 million grant from both EMC, Inc. and Cisco Systems, Inc. High performance computing provides the capacity for advanced research projects and to execute fast and remote computations on large batches of data.

“MassDevelopment’s contribution is an important component in a project that reflects a historic cooperation among some of the state’s leading research universities, industry and government. Beyond establishing a state-of-the-art computational facility, this project is creating unprecedented cross-institutional research collaborations, involving industry and academia, that will focus on some of society’s greatest challenges, including climate change, cyber security and infectious diseases,” said Andrei E. Ruckenstein, President of the MGHPCC and the Vice President and Associate Provost for Research at Boston University.

The center is seeking LEED certification and will use state-of-the art energy efficiency practices for data centers. Holyoke Gas & Electric, which derives a significant amount of its energy from renewable sources such as local hydroelectric power, will power the facility. The project is expected to create hundreds of construction jobs, 13 jobs at the center, and more than 130 research and research-related jobs at the universities. Massachusetts has designated the City of Holyoke as a Growth District, and the MGHPCC is an important part of the City's Urban Renewal Plan.

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2011, MassDevelopment financed or managed 277 projects generating investment of nearly $3.7 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create 10,291 jobs (2,507 permanent and 7,784 construction) and 1,323 housing units (309 new and 1,014 rehab).