Google is expanding its presence in Oregon with a new data center in The Dalles. This is the second facility the company operates in the town, the first of which represented Google's first custom data center in 2006.
The new facility, located nearby the Columbia River about 100 miles east of Portland, is a 164,000-square-foot structure that cost Google an estimated $6 million to establish. The massive Oregon data center will almost double the company's current footprint in the area.
Oregon has been a leading choice for many big name data center operators, including Facebook, Apple and Amazon. The state offers a favorable climate that is relatively free of inclement weather, as well as cost-effective power resources. The state also offers considerable data center tax incentives, including sales and property tax exemptions. Experts estimate that these breaks will save Google millions of dollars each year in connection with the new facility.
Although Google will benefit from the significant data center tax incentives, the project is also advantageous for the city. In addition to the revenues from utility usage, Google will pay approximately $800,000 to the local government each year in accordance with an agreed upon tax deal.
The company also recently leased a 15,000-square-foot office in Portland for the use of its engineering team. Currently, Google has approximately 20 employees located in Portland, and an estimated 175 workers staff the new Oregon data center, including 90 contractors.
The company is also considering expanding its fiber presence in the state, which could support a hyperfast Internet service in Portland. However, laws governing the state's tax structure could make this expansion "extremely unlikely," Google noted. The Oregon data center project was also impacted by tax laws, which were recently adjusted when Gov. Kate Brown signed a bill ensuring that data centers were exempt from a law that based property taxes partially on a company's brand value.
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