Apple is planning a major East Coast data center to boost the capacity of its online operations, and may invest as much as $1 billion in building and operating the huge server farm. The company is considering locations in North Carolina, where officials are rushing to pass enhanced tax breaks to woo Apple to their state rather than neighboring Virginia, which just passed its own incentives for data center projects.
The North Carolina House is expected to vote today on a package that would offer income tax breaks to companies that invest more than $1 billion over nine years in a rural area of the state and pay above-average salaries, according to local media.
The size of the project raises interesting questions about Apple’s ambitions for its online operations. The $1 billion price tag is nearly twice the $500 to $600 million that Microsoft and Google typically invest in the enormous data centers that power their cloud computing platforms.