Amazon Web Services Purchases Talen Energy's Data Center Campus in Northeastern PA for $650M

03.15.2024


Berwick, Columbia County, PA - Amazon will power its data center with energy directly from the nuclear power plant instead of the grid.

Amazon Web Services has purchased Talen Energy’s Cumulus data center campus in Berwick, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, for $650M. The 1,200-acre site, powered by a nearby nuclear plant, will be expanded to its full 960 MW potential by Amazon, reflecting a trend of tech companies building large data centers in rural areas due to increased demand and power constraints in traditional hubs.

When Cumulus opened in early 2023, it boasted 48 megawatts of capacity, and Talen planned to grow the facility to 475 megawatts upon completion. Under Amazon's ownership, the facility could become even larger.

Under the terms of the sale, Amazon will acquire the Cumulus facility and associated power infrastructure. Another facility on site, the Nautilus Cryptomine, will remain jointly owned by Talen and an outfit called TeraWulf.

“We are pleased to have sold our Cumulus data center campus, unlocking significant value for Talen,” said Talen President and Chief Executive Officer Mac McFarland in a news release. “This transaction provides an attractive return on Talen’s investment and vision in building Cumulus, and creates value through the sale of clean carbon-free power from our top-decile Susquehanna nuclear plant.”

According to the investor presentation on Talen Energy’s website, the deal comprises $350 million at close and $300 million escrowed, released upon development milestones anticipated in 2024.

The Talen presentation claimed the sale will have a positive impact on the broader community in three ways:

• Create full-time jobs and skilled construction jobs, with the potential to attract talent and other businesses to Pennsylvania.

• Catalyze significant economic development, including fiber, water and technology infrastructure and other local services.

• Strengthen the nuclear power plant, known as the Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, a major employer and significant local taxpayer in Salem Twp.

Talen Energy also said the long-term agreements with Amazon will create stable, incremental cash flows for the company.

Talen said it has agreed to continue to supply long-term, carbon-free power to the data center campus from the Susquehanna nuclear power plant “through fixed-price power commitments.”

According to Talen Energy, the plant was commissioned in 1983 for PPL, and is one of the largest nuclear power plants in the U.S.

Talen Energy was founded in 2015 after the competitive power generation business of PPL Corp. was created and combined with competitive generation businesses owned by private equity firm Riverstone Holdings.