The National Cyber Research Park in Bossier City, Louisiana, has been designated an American Electric Power (AEP) Qualified Data Center Site after passing a rigorous qualification process to confirm the site is ready for development.

Biggins Lacy Shapiro & Co. (BLS), the site selection firm AEP commissioned for the qualification process, determined that National Cyber Research Park offers a reliable and redundant power supply, strong fiber networks, low disaster risks and a business-friendly climate.

“This designation represents National Cyber Research Park’s ability to meet the increasingly complex needs of data center users,” said Craig Spohn, Executive Director/President of the Cyber Innovation Center. “It provides an attractive opportunity for data center users and other mission-critical facilities to consider making our community their home.”

National Cyber Research Park, located at 6220 East Texas Street in Bossier City, currently is a 64-acre, high-tech, cyber-focused complex with expansion up to 3,000 acres. This location offers data centers the connectivity, redundancy, survivability and collaboration essential for new business development opportunities.

Together with its energy service affiliate, Sugarloaf Associates, BLS designed a three phase evaluation process that analyzed the site’s electric supply and capacity, access to long and short-haul fiber providers, water availability, electric costs, demographics, vendor/supplier networks and the ability to complete construction within 18 months. As an extra step, a third party engineering company, Intelligent Building Systems (IBS), was hired to model the site’s ability to accommodate a 100,000-square-foot, raised-floor data center designed to current industry specifications.

“As we grow more dependent on electronic communications and computerized data, the secure storage of this information is vital to critical business functions,” explained Frank Crockett, manager of Economic Development for Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO). “The data center pre-qualification process allowed us to clearly understand the needs of the data center users and to distinguish ourselves as an electric utility able to support those needs,”

The BLS qualification process ensured that National Cyber Research Park not only had the right infrastructure to support data center projects, but it also had a secure environment to minimize risk and targeted incentives to help offset costs.

“We are very proud to have earned this distinction. We offer companies a very unique opportunity and strong business case,” Spohn said.

For more information about the National Cyber Research Park and AEP’s data center site qualification program, visit and

 About American Electric Power

American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5.3 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a 40,000-mile network that includes more 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP’s transmission system directly or indirectly serves about 10 percent of the electricity demand in the Eastern Interconnection, the interconnected transmission system that covers 38 eastern and central U.S. states and eastern Canada, and approximately 11 percent of the electricity demand in ERCOT, the transmission system that covers much of Texas. AEP’s utility units operate as AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP’s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.

About Biggins Lacy Shapiro & Company, LLC

Biggins Lacy Shapiro & Company, LLC (BLS & Co.) is a leading location economics consulting firm offering a unique mix of core skills to help companies make location decisions and state and local jurisdictions compete for private sector jobs and investment. BLS & Co. is distinguished by a multi-disciplinary approach to Economic Development Incentives Advisory Services, Site Selection, Energy Services, and Land Use Strategies and Approvals. The firm also advises state and local governments and utility companies on business attraction and incentives strategies. The firm is headquartered in Princeton, NJ, with offices in New York and Chicago.

 About Sugarloaf Associates

Sugarloaf Associates is a BLS-affiliated, specially-designed interdisciplinary division focused on assisting companies, developers, municipalities and real estate advisors with issues that pertain to energy procurement, renewable installation, infrastructure assessments utility relocation, with a special focus on mission critical facilities.