Microsoft: New Design for $500M Iowa Site

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Microsoft’s $500 million data center in West Des Moines, Iowa will feature an updated design implementing the company’s latest innovations in energy efficiency, the company said today as it unveiled the project at a press conference with state officials in Des Moines.

mikemanos-iowa.jpgMicrosoft General Manager of Data Center Services Mike Manos said the project will create 50 to 75 jobs paying $70,000 a year, and take 12 to 18 months to complete. “We are implementing a very new design that’s just coming out of our research and development department, so we need to get that finalized” before construction can begin in earnest, Manos said.

The Microsoft data center will be located southwest of Booneville Road and Xavier Place in West Des Moines near Interstate 35. “Microsoft selected Iowa after evaluating a number of locations across the country,” Manos said at the press conference, which was broadcast live on KCCI. “Iowa provided the best all-around combination of attributes that we evaluate in an important selection such as this.

“As you can imagine, finding the right location for these buildings is significant,” Manos added. “West Des Moines had a phenomenal infrastructure from a power perspective, great access to water and access to local colleges with IT specialization. We’ve had great interaction with all the local utilities.”

Officials said the center will be located southwest of Booneville Road and Xavier Place in West Des Moines near Interstate 35. The land was sold to Microsoft by the McKinney family.


“We are very excited that Microsoft will build one of its most advanced facilities anywhere in the world here in Iowa,” said Gov. Chet Culver, who added that a package of tax incentives passed by the state legislature was critical to the deal.

“The legislature and my office have focused on taking the steps necessary to make the state attractive to IT companies. It’s not much different from what we’ve done to make the state attractive to the insurance and financial service industries.”

“There’s lots of places around the world that try to specifically target this kind of business. The steps the (Iowa) legislature have taken made sure Iowa was competing on a level playing field.”

The Iowa project is the fifth new data center announced since Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie outlined the company’s new focus on online services, including facilities in Quincy, Wash.; San Antonio, Texas; Chicago, Ill.; and Dublin, Ireland. Microsoft has introduced design refinements with each new facility, including the introduction of data center containers in the Chicago and Dublin projects. Culver said many of the innovations in the West Des Moines site will be focused on energy efficiency.

Here’s a look at our coverage of the events leading up to today’s announcement.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor-in-chief of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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  1. David Francis

    So were do you sign up for the jobs ?