Microsoft building 3 ‘sustainably designed’ data centers in West Valley

Jul 30, 2019, 3:00 PM | Updated: 6:37 pm
(KTAR News Photo/Griselda Zetino)...
(KTAR News Photo/Griselda Zetino)
(KTAR News Photo/Griselda Zetino)

PHOENIX – Microsoft revealed plans Tuesday to develop three data centers powered entirely by renewable energy in the Phoenix area.

The campuses will be built in the West Valley suburbs of Goodyear and El Mirage, the company announced during a press conference at its Tempe office.

“These facilities will support the growing demand for our cloud services, both in the Phoenix area and also supporting the entire western United States,” said Brian Janous, Microsoft’s general manager of energy and sustainability.

Microsoft is partnering with Arizona Public Service and First Solar, a Tempe-based solar energy company, on the project as the tech giant works toward its goal of having its data centers powered 70% by renewable energy by 2023.

“We intend to develop our new data centers to be among the most sustainably designed data centers in the world, powered by 100% renewable energy, and we’re achieving this goal in partnership with both and APS and First Solar,” Janous said.

He said a new 150-megawatt solar project in Maricopa will supply power to the new facilities, which will also be designed to minimize water use and waste production.

“These facilities are projected to have an annual economic impact of $20 million in our communities once they’re up and running,” Gov. Doug Ducey said during the press conference.

Ducey said the campuses will create 110 permanent jobs, including positions for engineers and data technicians, plus more than 1,000 jobs for construction work.

Microsoft started acquiring land in the West Valley in September 2018, when it closed on a 279-acre parcel in Goodyear. In April, the company added two parcels of about 150 acres each in Goodyear and El Mirage.

The total bill for the three purchases was reportedly $105 million.

In February, the Goodyear City Council voted to approve an accelerated construction schedule for the first property.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Griselda Zetino contributed to this report.

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Microsoft building 3 ‘sustainably designed’ data centers in West Valley