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AWS splashes $35 billion to expand data centres in Virginia

The massive figure is close to the total sum AWS has previously invested in the state since 2006

AWS is planning to spend $35 billion (£28 billion) by 2040 to create data centre campuses across the US state of Virginia.

Specific locations for each site haven’t been chosen yet, but are set to increase the capacity available, said governor Glenn Youngkin on 20 January.

The new investment is expected to create around 1,000 new jobs across the state and is the largest economic investment in Virginia’s history, said the governor.

AWS’ expansion is also set to receive tax exemptions as part of a Mega Data Center Incentive Program which is currently waiting to be approved by the Virginia General Assembly. This would give the company tax exemptions on qualifying equipment and software and would last for 15 years.

The cloud giant could also be awarded a $140 million (£113 million) Major Employment and Investment (MEI) custom performance grant - a state grant to be spent on its site and infrastructure, workforce development, and other costs related to the initiative. However, the General Assembly still needs to approve the grant.

“AWS has a significant presence in Virginia, and we are excited that AWS has chosen to continue their growth and expand their footprint across the Commonwealth,” said Youngkin.

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“Virginia will continue to encourage the development of this new generation of data centre campuses across multiple regions of the Commonwealth. These areas offer robust utility infrastructure, lower costs, great livability, and highly educated workforces and will benefit from the associated economic development and increased tax base, assisting the schools and providing services to the community.”

Amazon set up its first AWS data centre and operations facility in Virginia in 2006, chose Arlington as the location of its second headquarters in 2018, and is one of the largest private sector employers in the state.

“Virginia is a world leader in innovation and cloud computing, thanks to its investment in a robust, highly-skilled workforce and emphasis on long-term public and private partnerships,” said Roger Wehner, director of Economic Development at AWS.

“Since 2006, AWS has invested more than $35 billion in Virginia, boosting the Commonwealth’s total gross domestic product by nearly $7 billion and supporting thousands of jobs annually. Building on these successful beginnings, we plan to invest an additional $35 billion in the Commonwealth of Virginia by 2040 and create 1,000 jobs.”

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