Tech big Microsoft flips change to on at new West Valley knowledge facilities

(Microsoft Photo)

PHOENIX – Nearly three years after Microsoft started buying land in the West Valley, the tech giant announced Tuesday that its new data centers in El Mirage and Goodyear are up and running.

The cluster of facilities known as the West US 3 data center region was designed to be powered by renewable energy.

“As Microsoft announces today that West US 3 is going live, the company has already invested $1.1 million in local projects across more than 70 community initiatives in Arizona,” El Mirage City Manager Crystal Dyches said in a press release from the city.

“Additionally, the annual economic impact of these data centers is estimated at $20 million.”

West US 3 will support customers who use Microsoft’s Azure cloud services.

“We chose Arizona as the location for our next US data center region for its abundant solar energy, highly skilled workforce, proximity to our customers and availability of land,” Noelle Walsh, Microsoft vice president for cloud operations and innovation, wrote in a press release from the company.

The release said Banner Health and the state of Arizona are among the first customers planning to tap into the new data centers.

The state already uses Azure applications for a child safety case management system and online Motor Vehicle Department services, Arizona Chief Information Officer J.R. Sloan said in the release.

“The new Microsoft datacenter region in Arizona enables us to continue this important work with computing resources right here in our state,” Sloan said.

Microsoft started acquiring land in the West Valley in September 2018, when it closed on a 279-acre parcel in Goodyear. In April, the company added two parcels of about 150 acres each in Goodyear and El Mirage.

The total bill for the three purchases was reportedly $105 million.

The new facilities were expected to create about 100 permanent jobs and more than 1,000 jobs for construction work.

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