Arizona Data Center Conversion Started By Apple

Apple announced in early February that it will be opening a new Arizona data center. The facility, which formerly belonged to GT Advanced, is being converted from a sapphire manufacturing plant and is expected to cost around $2 billion. The Mesa data center will serve as a central hub for all of Apple's worldwide networks.

"This multibillion dollar project is one of the largest investments we've ever made, and when completed it will add over 600 engineering and construction jobs to the more than 1 million jobs Apple has already created in the US," read a statement from Apple.

Apple is taking over the facility from GT Advanced, a one-time partner. The two companies worked together in November 2013 to create the building and produce sapphire, a scratch-resistant and transparent material used for screens on many mobile devices. GT struggled to get production moving fast enough, and Apple launched their iPhone 6 without sapphire screens, creating a major setback for GT. In October 2014, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and Apple chose to take over the plant to preserve jobs in Arizona.

The Mesa data center offers 1.3 million square feet and since Apple has made data center sustainability a priority, the majority of the facility's power will be supplied by a solar farm. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey said the projects created by Apple will produce 70 MW of clean energy, or enough power to supply more than 14,500 homes in the state.

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