Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud services division of Amazon.com Inc, announced on Friday that it plans to invest $35 billion by 2040 in order to expand its data centers in Virginia. The new investment will create 1,000 jobs in the state. According to AWS, from 2011 to 2020 it invested $35 billion in data centers located in northern Virginia and had 3,500 full-time employees at its data centers in the state.
Virginia Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin said that AWS will establish multiple data center campuses across the state. Pending approval by state lawmakers, Virginia is developing a new “Mega Data Center Incentive Program,” which would allow the company to receive up to a 15-year extension of Data Center Sales and Use tax exemptions on equipment and software. Additionally, AWS will be eligible to receive a state grant of up to $140 million “for site and infrastructure improvements, workforce development, and other project-related costs.”
Amazon announced in 2018 that Northern Virginia would be home to its second headquarters, known as “HQ2,” which is expected to employ more than 25,000 employees. As of April 2021, Amazon reported that its headcount assigned to the site was around 5,000.
However, Governor Youngkin has faced some criticism for withdrawing from a competition to attract a new Ford Motor battery plant that was expected to be built in partnership with China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL). A spokesperson for Youngkin said earlier this week that “while Ford is an iconic American company, it became clear that this proposal would serve as a front for the Chinese Communist party, which could comprise our economic security and Virginians’ personal privacy.” Ford has declined to comment on Youngkin’s comments or the status of the planned facility or its talks with CATL, but in July 2021, it announced plans to localize 40 GWh of battery capacity in North America starting in 2026.
In conclusion, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced a $35 billion investment to expand its data centers in Virginia by 2040, creating 1,000 jobs in the state. The investment is pending approval by state lawmakers and if approved, AWS will be eligible to receive a 15-year extension of Data Center Sales and Use tax exemptions on equipment and software, as well as a state grant of up to $140 million for site and infrastructure improvements, workforce development, and other project-related costs. This new investment is in addition to the $35 billion that AWS has already invested in data centers located in northern Virginia and the 3,500 full-time employees that it already has in the state.