Apple To Begin Data Center Expansion

Apple says construction on the East Campus of the Northern Nevada Data Center is finished. The data center has 50 large rooms, filled with servers. They allow people to do every day communication with their devices, including sending text messages and using iCloud.

"Whenever anyone calls on Siri from California and Nevada, the servers here answer that call," Kristina Raspe, Vice President of Apple Real Estate Development said.

Last year, Apple announced a five-year plan to invest $10 billion into its US data centers. With the completion of the East Campus, it will start construction on the West Campus within the next year, growing its facility to 1.2 million square-feet.

"Everybody, get your work boots back on, your hard hats on," Raspe said. "The work is just beginning again."

The expansion also includes a local solar power facility. The data center gets 100 percent of its energy from renewable sources. It is helping to expand the nearby Turquoise Solar Project. In 2017, its solar projects generated 186 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, which is enough to power nearly 17,000 homes.

"What I was so impressed with is Apple's commitment to sustainability and just all of the things that they're doing here in this data center is really critical to our environment," Mayor Hillary Schieve, City of Reno said.

The facility also has its own water filtration and distribution system, getting its water from two wells. It also re-uses its gray water for irrigation.

Governor Steve Sisolak joined Schieve and Washoe County Commissioner Vaughn Hartung for a tour of the facility, east of Sparks. They say Apple has a great partnership with the state and local governments, helping to diversify Nevada's economy.

"This helps all the businesses," Sisolak, D-Nevada said. "It helps the little businesses that are suppliers here. It helps the local restaurants and stores and whatnot, but it does send a good message, nationwide, that Nevada's a great place to do business, a friendly place to do business."

Apple says it provides jobs to about 8,000 Nevadans in data and retail, says the West Campus expansion will create a total of about 700 construction jobs and permanent positions.

"Take a picture of this and put it on our brochures," Sisolak said. "This is exactly what we want to see happen. This is an enormous investment into the community."

"Secret's out," Hartung said. "Northern Nevada is a technology hub. It's bringing great jobs and the nexus of jobs because of these data centers."

About 90,000 people work for Apple, throughout the country. It expects to add an additional 20,000 employees by 2023. Along with employment, the tech giant is also donating $50,000 per year to Reno's Business Improvement District.

"The more money we have, the more ambassadors we can put in our downtown core and they also interact with our tourists, they interact with our residents, they deal with a lot of challenging situations from our homeless to drug addiction and it helps us to connect with them to get them services," Schieve said.

Apple recently opened its downtown storage and shipment warehouse that hosts community events that support funding of community safety programs.