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Giant tech companies continue to take over the Heartland with data centers, as Apple announced today that it will spend $1.375 billion to build a data center in the state of Iowa.
Construction on the data center is expected to start early next year, and Apple plans to bring it online in 2020.
The state awarded Apple nearly $210 million in incentives for the project. In exchange, Apple pledges that the data centers — located in Waukee, Iowa — will create 50 jobs that pay a minimum of $29.12 per hour. Both Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the construction of the data center would also create “hundreds” of jobs, but didn’t give a specific number.
Setting up a data center in a Midwestern state has become par for the course for Silicon Valley tech companies — Facebook announced just last week that it would be building a new $750 million data center in Ohio. However, with today’s announcement, Apple becomes the fourth major tech company, along with Microsoft, Facebook, and Google, to build a data center in Iowa.
“We thank you for joining other tech giants in finding their place here, and reinforcing Iowa’s place in our knowledge-based economy,” Governor Reynolds said in a press conference on Thursday.
In addition to generous incentives packages, tech companies are attracted to Iowa because of the prominence of its renewable energy industry — Governor Reynolds said that 36.6 percent of Iowa’s electricity was generated by wind last year, and Cook said that the Waukee center, like its other U.S. data centers, would be powered using 100 percent renewable energy. Additionally, Iowa’s central location and relatively flat landscape shelters it from hurricanes and earthquakes.
At the press conference, Cook also said that Apple would be contributing up to $100 million in a public improvement for the city of Waukee. The first project that the fund will support is the construction of a youth sports complex.
“You’re putting your faith in us — and we believe that ought to be a two-way street,” Cook said.
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