New data center campus at the former United Airlines HQ will be one of the largest in Illinois, fueling steady growth of data center industry and community investment and jobs by 2024

ComEd today joined CloudHQ, a global data center company, and members of the community for a groundbreaking event to launch one of the largest data centers in the state of Illinois. Construction is now underway on a new $2.5 billion, 1.5 million square foot hyperscale data center campus that will continue a trend in data center development in the Chicagoland market in northern Illinois and expand capacity to serve business tech needs in the area.

This project will create hundreds of permanent new jobs and support growing business technology needs in the region. It marks the 8th new data center project to launch in the past year in ComEd’s service territory, which covers northern Illinois. ComEd will deliver a new onsite substation, extend high voltage lines, and provide new technology investments to help CloudHQ meet growing demand for data center services supporting the digital economy.

“ComEd is thrilled to support the launch of one of the largest data centers ever seen in our state, as part of our ongoing work to power growth by Illinois companies who continue to bring jobs and investment into the communities we are proud to serve,” said Gil C. Quinones, CEO of ComEd. “Companies like CloudHQ continue to look to northern Illinois and our service territory thanks to the unparalleled access to clean, affordable and reliable power that is essential for meeting the demands of today’s economy.”

The first phase of this latest data center project headed to Illinois is set for completion in 2024, with an additional two buildings completed in the next 3-5 years based on demand. CloudHQ will develop a hyperscale data center campus - a term which refers to the largest and most efficient type of data centers, which typically house hundreds of thousands of computer servers in each building, to serve the needs of the world’s largest customers. The three-building campus will be built to a LEED standard, highlighting the company’s commitment to sustainable development.

“CloudHQ is excited to be bringing this hyperscale development to the Village of Mount Prospect. The location, scale and speed to market of our ORD Campus reinforces all we strive to achieve, as partners to our customers. The demand we see for this location is already extremely encouraging, and will be supported by a new dedicated on-site ComEd substation that will allow us to scale to power future customer demand,” said Keith Harney, COO of CloudHQ. “Working with the Village of Mount Prospect Board of Trustees, the Mayor and the Village Staff has been an excellent experience and we thank them for their cooperation to realize our vision for the site.”

Overall, the project will bring significant investment and job creation to the area. As construction of the first building kicks off, over 1,000 construction jobs will be created over a two-year period. Later phases of construction contemplate an additional 2,000 full time construction jobs. Once the project is completed, CloudHQ’s data campus will employ over 100 full-time jobs, including technical positions needed for data center maintenance and construction.

“I know I speak for the entire Village Board as well as a very grateful community when I say that we all anxiously look forward to watching the Cloud HQ Data Center “go vertical” and become operational,” said Mayor Paul Hoefer, Village of Mount Prospect. “Thank you to Cloud HQ for choosing to build in Mount Prospect.”

The project has received local approvals by the Village of Mount Prospect to begin development of the site, which will repurpose the 50-acre, former United Airlines headquarters and operations center that was vacated in 2007. The new data center makes good use of the former United world headquarters site and will create new jobs and investment for the community without adding significant vehicle traffic to the area.

“The Chicago and Cook County Building and Construction Trades Council looks forward to witnessing the profound impact that CloudHQs investment in the Mount Prospect Technology Campus will have on local union members with new opportunity in the area,” said Mike Macellaio, President of the Chicago & Cook County Building Trades Council.

A new onsite substation will be constructed by ComEd to support CloudHQ operations and may eventually accommodate future needs in the area as well. Additionally, ComEd will install new 100MVA transformers at the site for the first time. These transformers are of a higher capacity technology to support the needs of the data center industry, while minimizing the footprint of electric equipment on site.

“The arrival of CloudHQ confirms what we already know – that Illinois is a leading destination for tech and data centers,” said Rep. Mark Walker, who represents the 53rd District including Arlington Heights and Mount Prospect. “CloudHQ’s new project which will create a significant number of new jobs and local investment for the area. New investments by CloudHQ and other data centers coming to our area is a testament to the strong and dependable grid, talent and infrastructure found only here in Illinois.”

2019 was a turning point for the data center industry in Illinois, following the passage of new state legislation to incentivize growth and to support technology advancements. Since the passage of the Data Center Incentive Program, ComEd has seen 15 new data center projects, including 6 projects bringing more than $2 billion in local investment in 2021.

"Chicagoland is now the number four destination for data centers in the entire world, representing an $8 billion industry right here in Illinois," said Jack Lavin, President and CEO of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. "The Chamber has been proud to lead efforts to pass pro-growth legislation like the Illinois Data Center Investment incentive to help attract further investments like these to our region, as a vital supplier of jobs and a critical driver of Chicago's economy."

In ComEd’s service territory across northern Illinois alone, there are now over 70 operating data centers, with six currently under construction, and another 13 in early design or planning stages. This growth has led the Chicago metro area to seize the title of a top five global data center market for two years in a row, according to Cushman & Wakefield.

“Data centers are critical to the growth of our digital economy,” said Intersect Illinois CEO Dan Seals. “We’re pleased to see CloudHQ break ground on this impressive facility, and appreciate the work ComEd has done to make Illinois attractive for projects like this.”

Additionally, data centers have continued to thrive in the region, thanks to climate conditions that are safe from many natural disasters, competitive costs that fall lower than other cluster location options, as well as industry leading power reliability, affirmed by ComEd’s 2021 ranking as a top 20 energy company by Site Selection magazine, when compared to 3,300 electric companies nationally.​​​

Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with approximately 10 million customers. ComEd provides service to approximately 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit ComEd.com, and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

ComEd Media Relations 312-394-3500

Cloud HQ, Devin Kakar Dkakar@cloudhq.com

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