CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Microsoft Corp. plans to build another data center in Cheyenne, bringing its total investment in Wyoming's capital city to nearly $500 million.
Gov. Matt Mead on Friday announced the company's decision to start construction on the planned $274 million data center this spring. He said he's made growth of the state's technology sector a priority.
"Wyoming has so many comparative advantages for data centers," Mead said. "I have worked with the Legislature to position Wyoming as a competitive location for these high-valued projects."
Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft opened its first data center west of Cheyenne in late 2013. A company spokeswoman said she didn't have information immediately available on how many jobs the new center will provide.
Mead's office stated that Microsoft will purchase additional land in Cheyenne and plans to begin construction of the expansion in late spring 2014. The first stage of the new data center is estimated to be operational in summer 2015.
Brandon Marshall, business recruitment manager at the Wyoming Business Council in Cheyenne, said computer centers are a natural fit for the state as it works to diversify its economy.
"It not only is something that's clearly diverse and different from existed in the past in Wyoming, but it's also something that can take advantage of Wyoming's traditional place as an energy producer," Marshall said of data centers.
"Energy is really the most important piece of a data center," Marshall said. "Their highest use of anything is electricity, and that's something that Wyoming's always been very good at producing and actually producing at a low cost."
Marshall said Wyoming's cool climate helps keep costs down for data centers, which require cool conditions for computers to operate.
Dayne Sampson, corporate vice president for Microsoft's Global Foundation Services group, issued a written statement through Mead's office.
"Microsoft is excited to expand its data center operations in Cheyenne," Sampson said. "This will ensure the best possible delivery of cloud infrastructure and services to our current and future customers in Wyoming and the surrounding region."
Randy Bruns, chief executive officer of Cheyenne LEADS, a local economic development organization, said the group is pleased to have Microsoft in Cheyenne.
"In a short time, Microsoft has already become a good community partner and we are excited the company views Wyoming as a good location for its business to thrive and expand," Bruns said in a written statement from the governor's office.