Amazon plans to build five more data centers in rural Oregon at an estimated cost of $11.8 billion, according to documents filed in Morrow County last week.
The project would more than double the footprint of the cloud colossus’ data center in the county. Amazon, home of AWS as well as an online shopping empire, operates four data centers along the Columbia River, about 150 miles east of Portland, according to Oregon Livewhich first reported on the planned expansion on Thursday.
If approved, construction of the five facilities would take place over the next four to five years, with the first facilities commissioned in late 2023 and the last scheduled for early 2027.
According to government documents [PDF], Amazon expects each data center to cost about $2.37 billion. This includes $280 million for the building, $140 million for supporting infrastructure – presumably power and thermal management systems – and $1.95 billion for the data center infrastructure itself. same.
In total, the expansion is expected to create 600 high-tech jobs — 120 per data center — with an average salary of $75,000, which Amazon says is $20,000 more than the county’s median household income. . The internet super-company currently employs 461 full-time people at its Morrow County data centers.
In response to our questions, an Amazon spokesperson declined to comment on the expansion, instead issuing the following standard statement: “AWS is proud of the work we do in Oregon. Since 2011, we have invested over $15 billion, contributed over $66 million in tax and fee payments to the local community, and supported the development of 2,000 jobs.
It remains to be seen to what extent the project will be subject to the savvy government tax breaks that Oregon is famous for, according to Oregon Live. The outlet reports that over the past five years, Amazon has secured $161 million in Morrow County tax relief, including $47 million last year.
The sprawling online bazaar is the county’s largest taxpayer having paid more than $25 million in taxes and fees in 2021, though according to Amazon. That said it is less good to pay other taxes, which worries some shareholders.
“It’s going to be a tough trade-off,” Greg Sweek, who runs the Columbia River Enterprise Zone overseeing Amazon’s developments, told Oregon Live, the website of The Oregonian newspaper.
The risk, he explained, is that if Amazon can’t get favorable tax breaks, it could try its luck in neighboring Umatilla County, where the mega-company operates data centers employing more than 270 workers.
The register contacted Sweek for further comment; we will let you know if there is. ®