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Microsoft expanding in Mecklenburg

SoVaNow.com / January 30, 2013
Microsoft Corp. will invest $348 million to expand its modular data center site in Mecklenburg County, Gov. Bob McDonnell announced Wednesday.

The company will build two additional facilities on its data center campus to increase capacity to serve its growing customer base. The project will create 30 new jobs. Microsoft’s original project in 2010 involved an investment of up to $499 million and 50 new jobs. In 2011 the company invested an additional $150 million to expand the site. As part of its commitment to carbon neutrality, Microsoft is offsetting the gross carbon emissions from this data center by purchasing an equivalent amount of renewable energy credits.

“In 2010 we were confident that Microsoft’s plans to establish one of its most advanced data centers in Mecklenburg County would be a transformational project. This second expansion within 16 months of the previous one is a great testament to Microsoft’s success and commitment to Virginia. The company continues to grow its cloud operations, representing a total of nearly one billion dollars in capital investment. The Commonwealth is one of the most active data center markets in the country, and Microsoft’s rapid development helps continue to establish us an industry leader,” McDonnell said.

“The Commonwealth’s critical IT infrastructure enables us to attract global companies like Microsoft, which continually proves itself as an essential corporate partner to Southern Virginia,” said Jim Cheng, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade. “We thank the company for its major investments in Mecklenburg County, and remain committed to a strong alliance as the operation grows.”

“We appreciate the strong working relationship with the State of Virginia and the County of Mecklenburg,” said Christian Belady, general manager of Microsoft Data Center Services. “This expansion will allow us to meet the growing demand from consumers and businesses for our cloud services in the region in an increasingly efficient manner. These facilities showcase state-of-the-art designs developed from our latest technology and infrastructure research that continues to minimize water, energy use, and building costs, while increasing computing capacity, software capabilities, and server utilization.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Mecklenburg County to secure the project for Virginia. McDonnell approved a $200,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Mecklenburg County with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission approved $2 million in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds for the project.

“Without a doubt, Mecklenburg County is overjoyed with this announcement,” said Glenn E. Barbour, Mecklenburg County Board of Supervisors chairman. “We find Microsoft to be a great corporate citizen and its contributions to our economic growth are almost without measure. We are confident that Microsoft also finds Mecklenburg County to be a reliable government partner and progressive in its views toward our business citizens. It is certainly the responsibility of government to aid in the economic growth of its communities by fostering a pro business attitude which ultimately leads to its citizens having economic stability and opportunities to expand their personal well being. It goes without saying that our other business citizens also play a major role in our economic growth and stability. I want to congratulate Wayne Carter, our County Administrator, for being such a great leader in working with Microsoft to accomplish this mission. All our County staff plays a vital role in assisting our business community and your Board of Supervisors is most appreciative. Thank you, Microsoft, and thank you, business community, for creating a bright future for Mecklenburg County and its citizens.”

“The Tobacco Commission was established to help those counties that had economies dependent on tobacco revitalize themselves for a strong future,” said state Sen. Frank Ruff, vice chairman of the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission. “I am glad that Mecklenburg County was selected for Microsoft's investment for its expansion. Southern Virginia offers many assets to companies wishing to expand or re-locate. Microsoft's decision today is proof of that.”

“The expansion of Microsoft Corporation bringing new jobs and investment to Mecklenburg County is especially good news in these tough economic times,” said Del. Tommy Wright, a member of the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission. “I am very pleased that the Tobacco Commission was able to be a contributing partner with this economic development project.”

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