Apple Inc. to build new U.S. data center in Iowa

Updated 2017-08-25 14:01:39 Xinhua

Apple Inc., the technology company with iPhone smartphone as its flagship product, announced Thursday its plan to build a new data center in Waukee, Iowa, a midwestern U.S. state.

Headquartered in Cupertino, California, the company said the data center will be 400,000 square feet, or more than 37,160 square meters.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) said Apple plans to purchase 2,000 acres, or 8.09 square km, of land in Waukee, a city with a population of nearly 14,000.

Short of providing details, the IEDA said its board had approved tax incentives for Apple.

At a ceremony in Des Moines, the state capital of Iowa, Governor Kim Reynolds and Waukee Mayor Bill Peard joined Tim Cook, Apple's chief executive officer (CEO), Thursday afternoon to announce the project, which is expected to cost more than 1.3 billion U.S. dollars.

"Our new data center in Iowa will help serve millions of people across North America who use Siri, iMessage, Apple Music and other Apple services," said Cook, who also committed his company to contributing up to 100 million dollars to a Public Improvement Fund dedicated to community development and infrastructure around Waukee.

To be established and managed by the City of Waukee, the fund is expected to support projects like parks, libraries and recreational spaces.

Like all Apple data centers, said Cook, the new facility will run entirely on renewable energy from day one. Apple claimed to have reached the goal of operations with 100 percent renewable energy in the United States and 23 other countries.

Apple's data center project in Waukee, some 20 miles, or 32 km, west of Des Moines, is the result of 20 months of negotiations with state, regional and local officials. The IEDA boasts that Iowa is well-positioned to attract data center investments because of its geographic location, which is safe from hurricanes, earthquakes and rolling blackouts, coupled with affordable electric rates and high percentage of electricity generated by wind.

The IEDA, which reportedly would provide nearly 20 million dollars of tax credit in addition to more than 188 million dollars of property tax abatement from the city of Waukee over the next 20 years, said the project will create at least 50 jobs at a qualifying wage of at least 29.12 dollars per hour.

However, other than saying it will create over 550 construction and operations jobs in the Des Moines area, Apple did not specify how many of the job positions will be long-term ones.

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