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FROM SITE SELECTION MAGAZINE, SEPTEMBER 2021 ISSUE
From the September Issue

TRANSIT, CONNECTIVITY & QUALITY OF LIFE

Land Stewardship is Key to a Future Innovation Park

Learn how a 2,000-acre knowledge district called Rowen is taking shape in rural eastern Gwinnett County outside of Atlanta.

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From the September Issue

SOUTHEAST U.S.

Finding Their Roots

We asked site consultants where and why they’ve located themselves across the southeastern U.S.

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 PROJECT WATCH 

Spain

Microsoft on September 13 announced it has chosen Spain as the base of operations for its new R&D hub specialized in the application of artificial intelligence technologies to improve user experience on the web. The facility will be one of eight research centers worldwide and part of Microsoft’s WebXT (Web Experiences Team) division, an organization of more than 5,000 people. “After creating Search & AI hubs in London, Munich and Paris, and having been able to learn first-hand about the requirements, needs and, above all, opportunities for attracting talent, I am convinced that implementing this hub in Spain will add much value to Microsoft’s R&D footprint worldwide,” said Jordi Ribas. corporate vice president of Microsoft Corporation in the United States. Phase one includes the recruitment of 30 software engineers and data scientists specialized in advanced areas of software engineering including AI, machine learning and deep learning. The hub may exceed 100 employees in coming years. “Around this hub we want to generate a vector of innovation in artificial intelligence in collaboration with universities, research centers and technology companies,” said Alberto Granados, GM at Microsoft Spain, “reinforcing our efforts to boost digital talent in Spain and training in machine learning technologies.”

Source: Conway Analytics

Maryland

The Maryland Board of Public Works in mid-September approved two contracts for the construction and operation of a Southwest Airlines maintenance facility at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI). The 27-acre site, originally announced in 2018 but delayed due to the pandemic, will include a hangar to accommodate up to three Boeing 737s and an apron to accommodate up to eight Southwest Airlines jets, along with office and workshop space. The $135 million facility cost includes an investment of approximately $90 million from the airline. The new facility will be the first in the northeastern U.S. for Southwest, which began serving BWI 28 years ago, serves about 70% of passenger traffic and employs more than 4,000 at BWI.

Source: Conway Analytics

 

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ILLINOIS INVESTMENT GUIDE 2021/22
From the January Issue

SMALL-BUSINESS FRIENDLY

Cooking Up Small Business Success in Illinois

SBDCs set multiple records helping entrepreneurs in 2020.

Read More >>>
From the January Issue

LIFE SCIENCES

The Medical Mecca

Illinois offers assets that attract companies in the life sciences.

Read More >>>
From the January Issue

QUALITY OF LIFE

Living in the Land of Lincoln

The state’s quality of life offers something for everyone.

Read More >>>

 

 SITE SELECTION RECOMMENDS 
President Joe Biden walks with Martin Keller, laboratory director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, in the shadow of a mammoth wind turbine blade during a visit to the NREL’s Flatirons Campus in Arvada, Colorado, on September 14th.
Photo by Werner Slocum courtesy of NREL

According to three new reports released in August by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), more wind energy was installed in 2020 than any other energy source, accounting for 42% of new U.S. capacity. The U.S. wind industry supports 116,800 jobs. The 2021 edition of the Land-Based Wind Market Report, prepared by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, detailed a record 16,836 megawatts (MW) of new utility-scale land-based wind power capacity added in 2020 – representing $24.6 billion of investment in new wind power projects. Among the report’s findings:

  • Wind energy provided more than 10% of total in-state electricity generation in 16 states. Most notably, wind power provided 57% of Iowa’s in-state electricity generation, while wind provided more than 30% of electricity in Kansas, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and North Dakota.
  • New utility-scale land-based wind turbines were installed in 25 states in 2020. Texas installed the most capacity with 4,137 MW. Other leading states include Iowa, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Illinois, and Missouri — all of which added more than 1,000 MW of capacity in 2020.
  • Wind turbine prices have steeply declined from levels seen a decade ago, from $1,800/kW in 2008 to $770–$850 per kilowatt (kW) now./li>

The 2021 edition of the Offshore Wind Market Report, prepared by DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, found that the pipeline for U.S. offshore wind energy projects grew to 35,324 MW, a 24% increase over the previous year. The 2021 edition of the Distributed Wind Market Report, prepared by DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, noted that eleven states added a total of 14.7 MW of capacity, 1,493 turbines, and $41 million for new investment in distributed wind installations in 2020. To learn more about DOE’s wind energy research, visit the Wind Energy Technologies Office homepage.

 

 PHOTO OF THE DAY 
Photograph by Christophe Licoppe courtesy of EC Audiovisual Service, copyright European Union, 2021

This photo of a microchip accompanied the announcement by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen of a European Chips Act in her State of the European Union address on September 15th. “While global demand has exploded, Europe's share across the entire value chain, from design to manufacturing capacity has shrunk,” she said. “We depend on state-of-the-art chips manufactured in Asia. So this is not just a matter of our competitiveness. This is also a matter of tech sovereignty. So let's put all of our focus on it.”

 
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