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Residents upset data center facility might open near elementary school

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 8:13 PM EDT
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PITT COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - Pitt County could potentially see a new data center facility installed near Belvoir Elementary School.

Compute North, a Minnesota-based company used to power cryptocurrency mining operations, wants to build a facility in the county off NC 33 Highway West.

The company says it’ll bring 27 jobs to the area with full benefits and an average salary of $56,000 a year.

The Pitt County Board of Commissioners recently approved an amendment to the zoning ordinance that will allow for a data center facility to be built directly across the street from the elementary school and some residents say they are not happy.

Compute North is said to provide infrastructure for clients in cryptocurrency, which is a type of currency that uses digital files as money, blockchain and high-performance computing.

The company held an open house Wednesday evening welcoming county residents to ask questions about the facility and process.

Some residents in attendance say they worry about the noise that will come from the crypto farm from the large fans used to cool computers down.

Compute North says the sound of the facility will be a low hum and it would be hard to hear the fans over ambient noise.

Residents also said they worry about the energy that will be used and the look of the facility itself.

Compute North says energy-wise, “It can enable increasing amounts of renewable energy on the grid because renewable energy is intermittent. You can’t turn it on or turn it off. In turn, we can turn ours off and on.”

The Pitt County Board of Commissioners is set to vote on the issue this coming Monday during its meeting.

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