Amazon Looks to Build Ninth Oregon Data Center

Company has plans to build 120-acre data center park in Umatilla County

Karen Riccio

March 21, 2017

2 Min Read
Amazon Looks to Build Ninth Oregon Data Center
The cloud pavilion of Amazon Web Services at the 2016 CeBIT tech fair in Hanover, Germany (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Amazon has plans to build a new 120-acre data center park in Oregon’s Umatilla County, reported The East Oregonian.

The facility will join one of three sites in East Oregon. The existing two are located in the Port of Morrow Industrial Park (Boardman) and at the McNary industrial park just outside of Umatilla. This will bring the total of data centers either already built or under construction along the Columbia River to nine. The company is said to be considering a third Boardman location though nothing has been filed yet.

Through a holding company called Vadata, Amazon began its data center footprint expansion along the Columbia River in 2011 to provide backup and disaster recovery in case of service failure at one of its sites. Jim Footh, real estate manager at Vadata, explained in a letter to the Umatilla County Planning Department that redundancy and risk aversion cannot be attained by developing a single, super-size data center campus and that locating data center campuses a few miles from each other helps to accomplish that.

Users of the Amazon Web Services cloud can deploy redundant data and applications in multiple data centers in a single region for backup in case there's an outage at one site.

See also: Amazon to Add Another Bit of Ireland to Data Center Portfolio

High energy requirements of the multiple data centers will be met by the high-voltage power lines connected to a neighboring generation plant. Footh also said that Vadata has signed a letter of intent to use the regional water system and agreed to pay for any necessary improvements to the system.

Oregon is one of about 20 states that offers tax incentives to data centers, in addition to its lack of a sales tax for everybody.

Because the additional four-building facility would require approval to rezone the land from farming to light industrial by Umatilla County Board of Commissioners, the deal has not been inked yet. A public hearing will take place on Thursday.

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