Microsoft brings 3 data centers, 1,100 jobs to West Valley

Business News | 31 Jul |

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and Microsoft announced today that the tech giant will construct three new “world-class” data center campuses in Arizona. The campuses are planned for sites in El Mirage and Goodyear and will be fully powered by renewable energy sources.

Gov. Doug Ducey said the data centers are projected to have an annual economic impact of $20 million once they’re up and running, and Microsoft will be creating 110 new jobs for mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, data center technicians and more. There will also be over 1,000 construction jobs created to build these three datacenters.

“Arizona has been increasingly embracing the technology industry with a pool of growing talent, an affordable quality of life for employees, and as many 200 as sunny days a year making it an ideal location for investing in data centers and solar power,” said Brian Janous, General Manager of Energy and Sustainability for Microsoft.

“This is big news for both the West Valley and the entire State of Arizona,” said Arizona Governor Doug Ducey. “When a global leader like Microsoft chooses to invest hundreds of millions of dollars into three cutting-edge data center operations in our communities, we know our work to create the best environment for innovative businesses is paying off.”

Microsoft will partner with First Solar, an Arizona-based global leader in solar energy, on their Sun Streams 2 photovoltaic (PV) solar plant. The 150-megawatt plant utilizes some of the most sophisticated and eco-efficient solar technology available today and will provide enough power to cover the energy load for each new data center campus once the solar project is operational.

“As an Arizona-based company and an American solar manufacturer, we’re thrilled to be powering these data centers, which will be important drivers of local investment and economic growth,” said Kathryn Arbeit, Vice President of Project Development for First Solar. “This agreement with Microsoft demonstrates just how large-scale solar can unlock value for local communities that benefit not only from the generation of jobs but also from the tax revenues for the county.”

Microsoft’s datacenter designs are already more energy and water efficient than traditional enterprise data centers. In Arizona, the company is pursuing LEED Gold certification which will help conserve additional resources including energy and water, generate less waste, and support human health. Microsoft is committed to zero waste certified operations for these new datacenters which means a minimum of 90 percent of waste will be diverted away from landfills through reduction, reuse, and recycling efforts.

“Microsoft is committed to using the power of our technology and working with partners across the globe for a more sustainable future,” Janous said. “And we’ve been investing in reducing the environmental impact of our operations for over a decade, we made our first purchase of renewable energy in 2013 and we followed that with formal commitments in 2016 to reach 50 percent renewable last year which we achieved; 60 percent renewable this year, which we’ve also achieved. And we’ve set a new target for ourselves: 70 percent renewable by 2023, which we expect to achieve and ultimately surpass.”

Microsoft is also focused on efficiently utilizing, conserving and replenishing water. “We have begun implementing a water replenishing strategy, where we will balance out what our operations consume in water stress regions by 2030,” Janous said. “In Arizona, the advanced design of Microsoft datacenters means it will use zero water for much of the year.”

Microsoft is actively investing hundreds of millions of dollars to develop these world-class data center campuses in Arizona. We expect they will create more than 100 permanent jobs across a variety of functions, including mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, and datacenter technicians, when the facilities are fully operational, and more than 1,000 construction jobs over the initial building phases. Once the datacenters are operating, they’re expected to have an annual economic impact of approximately $20 million across communities in Arizona. 

“We are thrilled that Microsoft has selected Arizona for these facilities, which will create more than 1,100 direct and indirect jobs in construction and datacenter operations and have a significant economic impact,” said Sandra Watson, President and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “We thank Microsoft for investing in Arizona. We would also like to thank Governor Ducey, Mayor Lord and Mayor Hermosillo for their leadership, and our partners at APS for helping bring this project to life.”

“Microsoft is a world leader in technology and we are fortunate they’ve chosen not only one, but two locations in Goodyear to expand their global venture,” said Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord. “This is a rare opportunity, and I am excited to see these projects come to fruition. This partnership is a true benefit for us all, not only bringing high-wage jobs to our talented workforce but also prompting other tech companies to follow suit.”

“The City of El Mirage is excited to welcome the Microsoft Corporation to CenterPoint Logistics Park,” said El Mirage Mayor Alexis Hermosillo. “Microsoft is building a 254,000 SF world-class, sustainable datacenter campus on 150 acres in southern El Mirage. The Microsoft data center campuses benefit the City and region by investing millions in our economy, creating more than a thousand construction jobs and hundreds of permanent, high paying tech jobs that will improve the quality-of-life and opportunity for residents and the state. El Mirage has a bright future! Thank you Microsoft for selecting the City of El Mirage for this amazing opportunity and many thanks to our partners at the Governor’s Office, John F. Long Properties, Arizona Commerce Authority, NOVO Development, APS, CBRE and Greater Phoenix Economic Council.”

Through its Datacenter Community Development initiative, Microsoft is actively engaged in El Mirage, Goodyear, and across Arizona. In the past year, Microsoft invested more than $800,000 on projects that deliver social, economic, and environmental benefits to the state.

Microsoft thanks the citizens of Arizona, its partners, and government officials, especially Gov. Doug Ducey, Mayor Georgia Lord of Goodyear, and Mayor Alexis Hermosillo of El Mirage, the Arizona Commerce Authority, Arizona Public Service and First Solar for helping make its vision of sustainable data centers and increased renewable energy in Arizona possible. 

“We’re looking beyond the data center to invest in partnerships that can have a lasting impact on conserving water for the region,” Janous said. “Microsoft is investing in a water conservation project that helps sustain water levels in Lake Mead, preventing water shortages in Arizona. The effort is intended to increase Arizona’s water resiliency and help the state meet its Drought Contingency Plan commitments. Microsoft’s investment in this project has also generated a one-to-one cash match from the Water Funder Initiative and will support the state’s efforts to further expand the project’s impact. The project will benefit the Colorado River Indian Tribes, and also result in more water in Lake Mead and more efficient water infrastructure.”

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