Apple is considering building a massive new data center in Prineville, Oregon, next door to where Facebook opened its own facility earlier this year.

Mike Rogoway at The Oregonian has the scoop, noting that the proposed 31-megawatt data center project is operating under the code name of “Maverick.” Rogoway, citing two sources with knowledge of the company’s plans, said that Apple will make a decision later this month whether to buy 160 acres of land in Prineville.

Apple actually may have been helped by Rackspace’s recent decision to locate its latest server farm in Morrow County, a move which opened up electrical transmission capacity in Crook County for Apple.

Facebook's data center in Prineville

Facebook chose Prineville — which is located in central Oregon — in part because of its cool desert air which is used to efficiently keep servers from overheating.

In fact, Facebook just touted the environmentally-friendly system last month, noting that it uses 38 percent less energy than Facebook’s existing leased facilities.

Crook County has one of the highest unemployment rates in the state of Oregon. Data centers, historically, have not employed many people with The Oregonian noting that just 55 work in Facebook’s Prineville location.

Other tech giants, including and Google, have expanded their data center operations in Oregon. Meanwhile, the town of Quincy in Washington state also has attracted a number of data center operators and tech giants in recent years, drawn in part by the cheap hydroelectric power from the Columbia River.

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to GeekWire's free newsletters to catch every headline


  • Guest

    Congratulations to Apple on this project! As iCloud continues to snowball, Apple will eventually need to move iCloud’s storage back-end off of Microsoft (!) and Amazon systems.

    • Guest

      Congratulations to MS on letting Apple take over another area that you pioneered! What’s it like to watch year after year, segment after segment, as Apple takes what you started and actually makes it function properly and simply?

      They’re now synonymous with cloud back up, while you’re left writing posts admitting you blew it, acknowledging the small mind share for Skydrive or Mesh, or SkyMesh, or MeshSky, or LiveMeshSkyDrive, or whatever you’re calling it this week. It’s all so confusing and hard to keep up with.

      At least you’ll still get some low-margin Azure business out of it… until Apple brings that back in house too.

      • Guest

        Azure is low margin?! Run some numbers and you’ll find that the margins on storage as a service are stupidly high. Microsoft’s gain from iCloud is substantial. SkyMeshLiveDrive2000Mail is a cost center, but iCloud is a profit center for Microsoft.

  • chuck goolsbee

    Welcome new neighbors! Central Oregon in general, and Prineville in particular is an ideal location for datacenters, in every way. Climate, business climate, taxation, technical talent, etc. Quincy’s day in the sun may have ended.

Job Listings on GeekWork