Big Data

Microsoft pumps $678M into massive Iowa data center

Microsoft is reportedly investing $678 million to expand its data center in West De Moines, Iowa.

The expansion is expected to create 29 new jobs in the local area and has already been awarded $20 million in tax benefits. The plan, dubbed Project Mountain, was revealed by the board of the Iowa Economic Development Authority in a meeting with the Des Moines Register.

Microsoft has already purchased land for the expansion, according to the Register, which first reported the news.

Microsoft isn’t the only tech company with a data center in the region. In April, Facebook confirmed plans to open a server farm in Altoona, Iowa. The 476,000 square foot building is the world’s longest data center. Google opened a data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa, in 2009, and has subsequently announced expansion plans.

Curious about the inside of a data center? Google gave us a sneak peak of its giant server network — check out the gallery here.

Iowa doesn’t charge a tax on electricity and offers inexpensive land and tax benefits, making it the ideal breeding ground for data centers. The region is also headquarters to a handful of household-name corporations, including Wells Fargo and Principal Financial Group.

Microsoft is now the third major tech company to push its data center investment to $1 billion or more, according to the Register. But there may be more projects of this scale to come, said Debi Durham, the state’s economic development director.

Rural North Carolina and Oregon also offer abundant, cheap land, and are also popular options for data centers.


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