Why Do Companies Build Data Centers in Iowa? - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Why Do Companies Build Data Centers in Iowa?

Posted: Updated:

By Alex Schuman

aschuman@myabc5.com

@alexschuman

First Google, then Facebook, and now another major company wants to build a multi-million dollar data center in West Des Moines.

So, that begs the question: Why the sudden interest by those businesses in our state? 

"You don't want to put all your eggs in one basket," said Prof. Doug Jacobson, who teaches computer engineering at Iowa State University.

Companies do not like building their data centers in the same geographic location, according to Jacobson. 

"Data centers require a lot of power," he said.  "They require a lot of land."

And Iowa's land is particularly unique because our climate offers few natural disasters, like earthquakes, compared to other states.

"Iowa's a pretty stable environment for data centers," Jacobson said.

Another reason these companies choose our state stems from our taxes, and the fact, they get offered huge incentives by officials to build inside Iowa's borders.

Companies can get a 50 to 100 percent refund on the taxes they spend on electricity, computers, and construction.

Those advantages can be critical because data centers demand massive cooling systems to keep the tall banks of computers that blow out heat at a cool temperature near the low 70s or 60s.

"They're kind of chilly," Jacobson said.

For Jacobson, who's students could be employed at the data centers, he sees something bigger than economics at play.

And hopes the boom in data center construction raises Iowa's profile in the technology world as a whole.

"It's a great thing for Iowa," he said.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WOI. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.