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Apple breaks ground on $68-million data center in rural Oregon

October 19, 2012|By Laura J. Nelson
  • Apple is building a data center in Prineville, Ore., across the highway from one run by Facebook, above.
Apple is building a data center in Prineville, Ore., across the highway… (Alan Brandt / Associated…)

Apple has broken ground on a $68-million, 338,000-foot data storage complex in Prineville, Ore., across the highway from where Facebook opened its corporate data center last year, according to local reports.

The center will be twice the size of a Costco store, the Oregonian reports. The $68-million price tag covers the cost of the facility and two "data halls" inside, according to plans filed with the city and Crook County last year. Apple has plans for a second data center of similar size at the site.

Apple paid $5.6 million in February for the 160-acre site in the rural area about 150 miles southeast of Portland.

The company has been ramping up its data storage capacity as its Internet-based storage system iCloud gains popularity. In July, Apple's chief financial officer, Peter Oppenheimer, said the company had 150 million iCloud users.

The Prineville data complex will be Appleā€™s fourth. Its others are in Cupertino, Calif., at its headquarters; in Newark, Calif.; and in Maiden, N.C. An additional center is under construction in Nevada.

Many such data centers, also called server farms, are located in or under construction in Oregon, Nevada and North Carolina.

Drawn by cheap land, lower power costs and the absence of sales tax, major technology companies such as, Google and Adobe also have set up camp in Oregon.

A state law signed by Gov. John Kitzhaber in April grants tax breaks on corporate brands and intangible property to companies that build or lease data centers in Oregon, including in the so-called rural enterprise zone where Facebook and Apple have both set up camp.


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