Microsoft is planning to invest nearly $700 million to expand a data center in Iowa that would be used to help power products like Xbox Live and Office 365. The expansion supports Microsoft’s growing demand for cloud services and serves as an example of their latest in efficient data center thinking, according to Microsoft’s Christian Belady.
Iowa may seem like an unlikely place to construct a data center but according to the state’s economic development director Debi Durham, there may be more data center projects coming later this year. That’s because energy in the region is reliable and cheap and the local government offers attractive incentives to big companies.
They’ve created a business culture that fosters development, Durham said, and Microsoft is taking full advantage of those incentives. Microsoft was awarded $20 million in tax credits for building in the region and just last week, they were granted a five year tax rebate that could net roughly $6 million in savings for the project.
The investment is the largest in the city’s history, we’re told, as it outpaces Wells Fargo’s $250 million headquarters and their $100 expansion as well as the $200 million Jordan Creek mall and AvivaUSA’s $135 million headquarters.
The tech giant initially began their investment in Des Moines back in 2009. At present, Microsoft owns roughly 40 acres of land and employs about 50 people. Plans to expand further haven’t been announced but they aren’t out of the realm of possibility, either.