Microsoft Plans Major Expansion of Iowa Data Center


A look at some of Microsoft’s data center modules at the company’s facility in Quincy, Washington. Microsoft is planning a $677 million expansion in West Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo: Microsoft)

Microsoft plans to expand its cloud infrastructure in Iowa with a new $677.6 million data center in West Des Moines, the company and state officials announced today. The new project, known locally by the codename “Project Mountain,” builds upon Microsoft’s existing data center campus in West Des Moines.

The announcement caps a spectacular year for Iowa, which has seen Facebook, Google and now Microsoft announce more than $1.4 billion in new investment in data centers in the state. On April 23, Facebook confirmed plans to build a $300 million server farm in Altoona, and Google announced a $400 million expansion of its facility in Council Bluffs.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority Board approved incentives in a meeting earlier today. The newest phase of the Microsoft data center will create 29 new jobs, as well as 200 new jobs during construction.

“Microsoft has enjoyed a strong working relationship with the state of Iowa and West Des Moines and we are excited about our latest expansion project,” said Christian Belady, General Manager of Data Center Services at Microsoft. “The expansion of the West Des Moines data center is a win-win, bringing both new jobs to Iowa while supporting the growing demand for Microsoft’s cloud services. The new facility is designed to provide fast and reliable services to customers in the region and features our latest efficient data center thinking.”

“We are proud to watch tech leaders like Microsoft choose to make significant investments in Iowa,” said Governor Terry Branstad. “Microsoft’s continued expansion at its West Des Moines Location is a vote of confidence that our state is providing the kind of business-friendly environment that can help global companies succeed.”

The company will be eligible to receive up to $20 million in tax credits, including $15 million in a sales and use tax refund paid during construction and a $5 million investment tax credit for completing the investment project in West Des Moines. Site work for the expansion project is expected to begin in the summer with construction anticipated late 2013 and a scheduled completion by the end of 2015.

The West Des Moines project was announced in August 2008, but was delayed when Microsoft slowed its data center investment, citing the economic slowdown and the need to cut expenses. In June 2010 the project was back on, and Microsoft began construction.


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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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