Apple eyes Prineville, Oregon site for huge data center

“The world’s largest tech company is nearing a decision about whether to build a large data center in Prineville, a quarter mile south of the Facebook server farm that opened this year, according to two people with direct knowledge of Apple’s plans,” Mike Rogoway reports for The Oregonian.

“Apple would be the latest in a quick succession of big-name tech companies [Google, Facebook, Amazon] to build a data center in Oregon,” Rogoway reports. “The state is a hot destination for server farms, which attract huge investment but employ relatively few. Rural ‘enterprise zones’ spare computers and other equipment from the property taxes that other businesses pay. The exemption could be worth several million dollars or more to Apple, depending on the size of its investment.”

Rogoway reports, “Those familiar with the discussions say that Apple’s Oregon plans have been in flux while it awaited word on whether there would be adequate electricity transmission in Prineville to meet its needs… Apple, which goes by the code name ‘Maverick’ in its discussions with utilities and planning officials, …has an option to buy 160 acres of land now owned by Crook County. That option expires at the end of the month and regional planning officials expect a decision within the next few weeks.”

“Apple is expanding its data center capacity to support its iTunes music downloads and its new iCloud service, which stores customers’ photos, songs, videos and documents online. The company opened a $1 billion facility in North Carolina,” Rogoway reports. “North Carolina is attractive to server farms for the same reason Oregon is: tax breaks. The Tarheel State changed its tax structure to lure Apple, creating incentives The Charlotte Observer valued at $46 million. The paper reports that Apple also received local incentives worth $21 million. By comparison, Wasco County values Google’s Oregon tax exemptions at $24 million annually, or $71 million through its last fiscal year.”

Much more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Carl H.” for the heads up.]


    1. Is that a take on the county name?

      Looking it up on the map, it strikes me as probably nice place to live – rural, mountains, not too far from Portland when you want the city.

      Of course if you’re a city person it might not be your thing. But data centers are seldom built in cities 9/11/01 showed us what can happen when they are. (Multiple bank data centers were destroyed at the WTC. To compound things, many had contracted with the same hot-ste service providerr, who was oversubscribed. No one foresaw multiple data centers going offline simultaneously.)

      1. … county name may be “amusing”, but the site itself is well-considered. Not too near a significant-sized city, NO where near any of the other Apple data centers … well considered! An earthquake or power outage can take out the whole state any of their big sites are located in without slowing the others.

  1. Prineville is a great area.

    I can see why companies are attracted to the place for data centers… just sucks sometimes to think about how much land these behemoth data centers suck up.

      1. Doesn’t matter. The real appeal is all of the cheap hydroelectric power. We here in the northwest are blessed with lots of rain and lots of dams. And some of the lowest power rates in the country.

    1. Sucking up land? Prineville is smack in the middle of exactly nothing. It’s high desert, sage brush, grass, and an occasional rattlesnake, antelope, or jackrabbit, but that’s about it. It’s only a few miles from cheap Bonneville hydo power, and when it comes to cooling, well, they had a low of 7 degrees F last night.

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