Dell Tied to Data Center in Washington State

An aerial view of Quincy, Washington showing the cluster of major data centers, including a visualization of a planned site for Sabey Corp. and existing sites for Microsoft, Yahoo and Intuit. (Image: Sabey Corp.).

Dell has purchased property in the growing data center hub of Quincy, Washington in connection with a secretive data center project known as “Project Roosevelt.” County records indicate that Dell Marking LP has paid $3.6 million to purchase a property in the Port of Quincy from Michael and Marsha Rodgers, according to local media.

Officials with the Port of Quincy have confirmed that the deal is related to Project Roosevelt, the code name for a data center that could include grow to 250,000 square feet over time. The initial specifications call for 7 megawatts of power, ramping up to 30 megawatts over time. The search also considered sites in Douglas County.

The Quincy Data Center Cluster
With its location in east-central Washington state, Quincy is ideal for “free cooling” (using fresh air to cool servers) and has a ready supply of cheap hydro-electric power, which is coveted by data centers for its relatively low carbon impact. The small farm town has become home to major data centers for Microsoft, Yahoo, Intuit and Sabey Corp.

Quincy has also been the biggest beneficiary of the state legislature’s approval earlier this year of targeted tax incentives for the data center industry. The measure, which provides a 15-month sales tax exemption on the purchase and installation of computers and energy for new data centers in 32 rural counties, was a key factor in Microsoft’s decision to begin construction on a second major data center in Quincy.

The tax controversy in Washington State erupted in December 2007 when attorney general Rob McKenna ruled that data centers were no longer covered by a state sales tax break for manufacturing enterprises.

Early this year, the region’s data center providers joined with the Washington Technology Industry Association and the town of Quincy to form the Washington needs Jobs coalition, which successfully lobbied to get the tax incentives restored.

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large 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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