Apple Inc. is invading the farmland with a new 400,000-square-foot data center in Waukee, Iowa. The $1.3 billion investment is an effort to better serve U.S. customers of popular Apple products like iMessage, Siri and the App Store. Construction of the state-of-the-art data center will begin in early 2018, with a goal of having it online by 2020.
Apple customers aren’t the only ones who will benefit from having a data center at the heart of “The Heartland.” The investment is estimated to create over 550 new jobs around Waukee as well as contribute $100 million to the city’s Public Improvement Fund, budget dedicated to local community and infrastructure development.
In a release on the Apple website, CEO Tim Cook explained how job creation driven by the Waukee data center will build on the tech giant’s substantial Iowa employee base.
“Apple is responsible for two million jobs in all 50 states, and we’re proud today’s investment will add to the more than 10,000 jobs we already support across Iowa, providing even more economic opportunity for the community,” Cook said.
Perhaps the Waukee data center’s greatest value of all will be its contribution to the health of our planet. The new facility is expected to run on entirely renewable energy, preserving Apple’s organizational commitment to green power — all other Apple data centers already run on 100% renewable energy. Apple will also be partnering with Iowa-based energy producers to acquire the wind, solar and other renewable power sources to run the data center.
Come 2020, Apple will join Microsoft, Google and Facebook as the fourth major technology behemoth to invest in data center construction in Iowa. In addition to being a valuable source of renewable energies and offering attractive tax incentives, the Hawkeye State’s geographical position makes it a prime candidate for data centers. By dropping data centers in central areas of the country at the edges of major metropolitan networks like those in New York City, Los Angeles and Houston, companies can reduce latency and avoid backhauling traffic to the nearest major metro. The result is improved application performance and an upgraded experience for users.