Apple appears to be in the final stages of deciding to create a second data center. The tech giant is reportedly eyeing 160 acres in Prineville, Oregon for a 31-megawatt facility. The location would make Apple neighbors with Google, Amazon and Facebook, companies also locating data hubs in the Northwest state known for enticing tech firms with lucrative tax breaks.
The option to buy the land expires at the end of December, according to The Oregonian. The decision could hinge on whether the site will have enough electricity transmission and if local legislators can derail a state measure that could tax data centers.
Taxes could also possibly have played a critical role in Apple’s decision to locate its first large data center in North Carolina. The Cupertino, Calif. company received $46 million in state tax incentives along with $21 million in local incentives to locate its $1 billion site for iCloud, iTunes and other data-intensive services. Like in North Carolina, the Prineville, Ore. location is also offering property tax exemption that could save Apple at least “several million dollars,” according to The Oregonian.
North Carolina seems to be a prime location for data centers beyond Apple. Facebook and Google are also establishing data hubs for their cloud-based activities in the state.
While Apple’s growing list of data centers are adding to the tax rolls of local governments, the sites packed with computers and storage are not attracting many new long-term jobs. Although Facebook created 200 construction jobs to build its Prineville, Oregon data center, the site has employed just 55 Prineville residents, according to the report. Crook County, where Prineville is located, has a 15.8 percent unemployment rate, the highest in the state. Likewise, residents of Apple’s North Carolina data center recently told reporters few local jobs resulted from the tech firm coming to town.