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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 Amazon.com 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.

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