North Carolina now has three three-of-a-kind regions: the Triad, the Research Triangle and the Dirty Data Triangle.
The dirty what?
That designation comes courtesy of Greenpeace, the environmental organization, and it refers to the huge data centers - a.k.a. server farms - built or being built in Western North Carolina for California-based Apple, Facebook and Google.
Google came first. The Internet giant has a $600 million data center up and running in the Caldwell County city of Lenoir. Apple's center, described as a $1 billion project, is nearing completion in the Catawba County town of Maiden. Facebook last year chose a site in Forest City, in Rutherford County, for a $450 million facility.
The longest leg of this emerging triangle is about 45 miles. What's the "dirty" part? Coal, mainly