Tim Cook: Apple will invest $1.3 billion in Iowa

Key votes come Thursday for Waukee Apple data center

The 400,000-square-foot center will be used to support iMessage, Siri, the App Store and other Apple services in North America. The Des Moines Register reported Thursday that Apple's been given about $207 million in local and state tax incentives. Like Apple's other United States data centers, the Iowa one will produce 100 percent renewable energy, he said. For its part, the Waukee City Council approved a 71% property tax abatement over 20 years for Apple ― an incentive worth $188 million state records show.

The Cupertino, Calif. -based maker of iPhones, computers and iPads joins Google, Facebook and Microsoft, which have built expansive data centers in the state as they seek more power and capacity to support cloud computing and smartphone use.But while local communities get an economic jolt from the construction, the highly automated centers don't provide demand for the fast-growing, highly paid engineering and analytics jobs that have created booms in coastal hubs such as San Francisco and Seattle.

CEO Tim Cook made the announcement from Des Moines, Iowa on Thursday.

Apple said it will also contribute up to $100 million to a public improvement fund to develop infrastructure and community projects.

"Every day they make it possible for Apple users to send tens of billions of messages, to save more than a billion photos, and to place tens of millions of Facetime video calls", Cook said.

Iowa is a popular location for data center operators, with Google, Facebook and Microsoft (although its latest project may be cut short due to an impending water bill), having built their own facilities in the state.


"We think this is a great banner day for Iowa", said Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

The decision was lauded by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, a Republican. "This is an investment in Iowa's future".

The data center is expected to be completed by 2020 with construction starting early next year.

Apple is in the final stages of securing planning permission for its $1 billion data centre in Ireland, however the project has faced delays due to a high court appeal, lodged by local residents who fear the facility could be detrimental to the local environment.

"With a billion-plus investment, it will also create many spinoff and construction-related jobs", she said.

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