Wyoming’s Data Center cluster got a major boost with Microsoft’s decision to build a $112 million data center near Cheyenne, Wyoming to serve its Mountain West operations.
The announcement was made by Wyoming Governor Matt Mead, who said in a statement that, “Wyoming is a perfect fit for data centers. We have abundant, affordable energy. Our naturally cool climate decreases costs for data centers and we have redundant fiber optics.”
Christian Belady, general manager of Data Center Services in Microsoft’s Global Foundation Services’ group, said that, “We greatly appreciate the work that the Governor, the economic development team, and local officials in Cheyenne and Laramie County have done to make Wyoming a smart place for Microsoft to do business.”
Apart from the construction jobs created while the data center is being built, there will also be 40 permanent jobs at the facility. Even these 40 jobs will be created in phases, with 17 jobs in the first phase.
In his statement, Gov. Mead also thanked staff from Cheyenne LEADS and the Wyoming Business Council who worked with Microsoft and its location scouts.
The site selection process, codenamed Project Summit, ultimately came down to the Cheyenne site and another site in the Mountain West. Microsoft has already purchased the land, but its exact location has not yet been revealed. The site is likely the property owned by Cheyenne-LEADS west of Cheyenne, near the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) supercomputer.
Microsoft has been offered almost $11 million in incentives, including $5 million each from the Governor’s office and the county infrastructure fund, along with another $750,000 for workforce training.
That shouldn’t take long to make up, as the data center is expected to provide $25 million in tax revenues in five years after its opening in 2013. The jobs created will have wages that are 150 percent higher than average county wages.
“I believe that this announcement, once again, illustrates how important it is to have property available and ready for economic development,” said Randy Bruns, CEO of the Cheyenne LEADS.
That, and teamwork, as explained by Bob Jensen, CEO of the Wyoming Business Council, who said, “We appreciate the support of the communities and their local economic development officials from across the state that helped during this process, including the great work of Cheyenne LEADS, the Legislature and the Governor. This is a shining example of how economic development teamwork benefits our state.”
Microsoft’s data center joins others near Cheyenne, including the NCAR supercomputer, Green House Data and others for private companies like Echostar.