It’s been a huge day for huge data centers. Just hours after Microsoft confirmed its $550 million San Antonio project, Google has finalized the location for its long-rumored North Carolina data center. Google will invest $600 million in the new facility, which will be located in Lenoir. The search engine giant decided on the Caldwell County site after state and local leaders promised more than $100 million in tax breaks over 30 years.
In a statement, Lloyd Taylor, director of global operations for Google, says the center “will help support continued growth in our online services.” Google spokesperson Barry Schnitt told local media that Google also has not ruled out locating a facility in South Carolina, where it is rumored to have acquired 520 acres of land. “We’re continuing to evaluate a number of sites around the world, including the one we’ve confirmed at Goose Creek,” Schnitt said. “We hope to have more information to share in the coming months.”
Why give an enormously wealthy technology company a $100 million tax break? The state Department of Commerce has estimated that the Google project will add $1.06 billion to the state’s gross economic product over the next 12 years, and produce a net state revenue benefit of more than $37 million. Wages at the Lenior data center are expected to average $48,300 per year (excluding benefits) in a county where the average annual wage is $27,300.