It looks like Iowa gets Googled on Tuesday. Gov. Chet Culver of Iowa has schedule a press conference in Council Bluffs Tuesday morning to announce a "significant economic development project," which is expected to be a new Google data center. The 180-acre site of the Google operation will be northwest of U.S. Highway 275 and South 11th Street, according to local media.
The Council Bluffs announcement continues the data center building boom by Google, which has previously announced data centers in Lenoir, North Carolina, Berkeley County in South Carolina and Pryor, Oklahoma in 2007. Each of the projects announced this year has represented an investment of $600 million, and the Iowa data center is expected to reflect a similar pricetag.
The first reports of Google's interest in an Iowa data center project emerged in April, when the local officials in Council Bluff. State lawmakers this spring agreed to provide tax incentives that would benefit "web search portal businesses." Council Bluffs city leaders have also agreed to incentives, offering up to $48 million in property tax rebates over 20 years to "Company X."
Council Bluffs is just across the river from Omaha, Nebraska, which was identified as one of the most affordable locations for data center site selection in a recent survey by The Boyd Company of Princeton, N.J. The Council Bluffs site is in a favorable location for access to fiber and power, according to local media reports.
The Google data center in Council Bluffs is expected to create about 150 jobs paying an average of $60,000 a year. The proposed site is less than two miles from an electric generating station operated by MidAmerican Energy Co., which was recently expanded to provide potential capacity of 790 megawatts.
The Council Bluffs Industrial Foundation, which has been working with the local chamber of commerce to lure a high-tech firm to the city, owns 53 acres of the land, which contains two warehouses, according to the Omaha World-Herald. near South 11th Street. The foundation also has options to buy 125 acres west of Indian Creek to South 24th Street.
The Google site is also near Lake Manawa, a 660-acre natural lake. Google's recent data center site location efforts have focused on land adjacent to bodies of water that could accommodate the cooling systems for its massive banks of high-density web server installations.