Commercial, Regulation, Sourcing Renewables - August 28, 2017
Apple CEO: Wind access 'paramount' for data centers
Artist rendering of Apple's plans for its newest Iowa data center provided by Apple.
Following Apple Inc.'s announcement that Iowa would be home to its newest data center, CEO Tim Cook called renewable energy "paramount" to the company's decision to locate there.
In an interview with Radio Iowa, Cook said the state's abundant wind resources were fundamental to Apple's decision to site two new data centers there. His comments echo those made by executives at other large companies — such as Amazon, Google and Facebook — that have 100% renewable energy goals and list affordable access to electricity from renewable energy sources as a critical factor in choosing locations for their facilities.
"For us, that's kind of a gate. If we couldn't do that, we would not be here," Cook reportedly told the radio station. "To Iowa's credit, Iowa saw this and had the vision to work with the utilities and so forth so it could happen. I think that says a lot about the people here and how they work together."
According to the report from Radio Iowa, officials from the state and the city of Waukee voted to provide more than $200 million dollars worth of tax breaks and other incentives to Apple for the project. In a news release announcing the newest data center, Apple said its investment of $1.3 billion in the data center will create more than 550 construction and operations jobs in the Des Moines area. The company also plans to contribute up to $100 million to a newly created public improvement fund dedicated to community development and infrastructure around the city of Waukee.
Despite that commitment, the radio station reported that critics are already questioning the state and local governments' return on investment.
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