​​​​​Growing computing demands are driving rapid deployment of large data centers worldwide, including in rural America. Today's data centers run 24-7, have massive electric loads, and facility owners consider reliable electric service as essential to continuous operation. This evolving industry brings opportunity for additional electric sales, high load factors, grid infrastructure investments, and economic development. However, it also presents challenges for co-ops with the uncertainty of how to supply massive new loads that can be difficult to forecast.

This report reviews the impact of data centers on co-ops and features case studies of how some co-ops are creating standardized, efficient processes for responding to data center requests and inquiries.