Quincy, Wash. (May 20, 2010) – As a result of the tax incentive recently approved by the Washington state legislature to spur high-tech data center development in rural areas, Microsoft is now expanding its data center at the Port of Quincy (in Quincy, Washington).
In 2006 and 2007, Microsoft constructed the first phase (470,000 square feet) of the ‘Columbia Data Center’ in Quincy, Washington (http://www.komonews.com/news/archive/4188031.html). The Columbia Data Center is already ranked as one of the top 10 biggest data centers in the world (http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/special-report-the-worlds-largest-data-centers/largest-data-centers-supernap-microsoft-dft/). When the new expansion in Quincy is completed, it is estimated that Microsoft’s Columbia Data Center facility will be the largest data center in the world.
Patrick Boss, Business Development Director for the Port of Quincy, said Microsoft started the excavation for construction of new data center building about 10 days ago in one of the Port of Quincy’s industrial parks. For Microsoft, its data centers run services such as its Bing search engine, Hotmail and cloud-computing platforms, including Azure and Microsoft Online Services. The company has built large facilities in Chicago, Dublin and San Antonio in the past year.
Microsoft has indicated that it likes Quincy because of the area’s abundant, low cost and green hydroelectric power and high capacity, state-of-the-art fiber optics. In 2008, Debra Chrapaty, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft, made the following comment to EWeek.com “… we created a heat map of the U.S., and we put in all these criteria, and we hit the button, and what came up as the best place to build a new data center was Quincy, Wash. And it came up for two reasons: One that there was clean hydroelectric power, and the other was that the town had committed to fiber.”
More recently, Microsoft stated in a recent report titled ‘Top 10 Business Practices for Environmentally Sustainable Data Centers’ that: “Our data center facility in Quincy, WA uses 100% renewable hydropower from the Columbia River Basin”, which helps to reduce Microsoft’s carbon footprint. “Addressing global warming is a responsibility we take very seriously at Microsoft,” said Steve Ballmer Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft. A new data center has to be at least 100,000 square feet to qualify for the tax exemption. Yahoo and Intuit also have large data centers in Quincy.
“We have had a lot of interest in the past two months since the tax exemption was approved,” Boss said. “In fact, site selectors from several high-tech companies have visited Quincy recently. The Microsoft site expansion will probably create even more interest.”
Boss estimated the data center employs about 50 people, not including those who worked on building the facility. “For a community the size of Quincy (pop. 6500) it is a good number of jobs.” he said. “Also, the property tax revenues generated from the data centers have been a tremendous help to Quincy and has allowed the community to invest more in infrastructure and education.”
Below are links to similar news stories regarding Microsoft’s expansion at the Port of Quincy: