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New Apple data center to snuggle with Facebook?

'Maverick' said to be planned in Oregon

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Apple is reported to be planning a massive data center just a quarter-mile south of Facebook's facility in Prineville, Oregon.

So say a pair of sources "with direct knowledge of Apple's plans," speaking with Oregon Live, the online news service of The Oregonian.

Apple and Facebook are already data-center neighbors – but in North Carolina. The social networking site has a data center in Rutherford County in that state, and the iCloud company has a $1bn data center in Maiden – which Apple is preparing to equip with a massive solar farm.

Oregon is quite the hotspot for large data centers these days, what with Facebook's new facility joining Google's data center in The Dalles and three Amazon data centers, existing and under construction, in Boardman, McNary, and the Port of Umatilla.

In late October, Adobe Systems, Digital Realty Trust, and Fortune Data Centers announced plans to open data centers in Hillsboro – home to Intel Labs – just west of Portland, "where young people go to retire".

The reason for Oregon's popularity as data center central is simple: money. Oregon has no sales tax, which results in big savings for any hardware that can be sourced from that state. In addition, Oregon has established the data-center sites as "enterprise zones", areas in which property taxes can be abated for seven to 15 years.

And then there's power. Oregon is rich with inexpensive hydroelectric power, and data centers suck up tons of juice, which is one reason why Google chose to place their data center in The Dalles on the Columbia river. Prineville's power, however, comes mostly from coal.

Prineville, however, is in Oregon's High Desert region, where dry air makes evaporative cooling, a less expensive cooling tech than traditional chillers, possible.

Oregon Live identified the code name of Apple's 160-acre project as "Maverick", and it so happens that on Monday the Central Oregonian reported that the Prineville planning commission will hold a public hearing next Tuesday on a project of that size with that name, with the city council vote on it expected mid-month.

"At the end of December, they are either in or out," county judge Mike McCabe told the Central Oregonian. "We've got no reason to believe they are not just full steam ahead." ®

Bootnote

By the way, Prineville is a mere 20 miles east of Redmond – but that's Redmond, Oregon, not Microsoft's home turf a few hundred miles to the north in the state of Washington.

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