RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Amazon plans to spend $35 billion over the next 17 years to expand its data center campuses across Virginia, an investment Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s office said Friday would create at least 1,000 jobs.
“Numerous localities” in Virginia are up for consideration for the new campuses Amazon Web Services (AWS), the company’s cloud-computing subsidiary, plans to establish by 2040, according to a release from Youngkin’s office.
Lawmakers in the General Assembly will have to approve state incentives for AWS, including up to $140 million for project-related costs and tax breaks on software and equipment for up to 15 years.
The $35 billion project to bring more data centers — facilities that house servers and other equipment needed for IT systems — to Virginia comes while construction continues on Amazon’s second headquarters in Arlington.
AWS’ Director of Economic Development Roger Wehner said in a statement Friday that AWS has invested more than $35 billion in Virginia since 2006, which he said has helped boost the commonwealth’s total gross domestic product by $7 billion.
“Virginia will continue to encourage the development of this new generation of data center campuses across multiple regions of the Commonwealth,” Youngkin said in a statement. “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.”
According to the governor’s office, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the legislature’s Major Employment and Investment (MEI) Project Approval Commission worked to secure the investment.
“In collaboration with the Commonwealth of Virginia, AWS is exploring several areas in Virginia to expand and invest in,” Suzanne Clark, a spokesperson for the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, wrote in an email to 8News. “They are currently conducting due diligence and in discussions about long-term building and operating plans and will share more information on specific locations at a later date.”
Whether the Virginia General Assembly will ultimately sign off on the incentives for the data centers is unknown.
But key lawmakers from both sides of the aisle praised the investment in the release from Youngkin’s office, including the heads of the legislature’s money committees and key budget negotiators Del. Barry Knight (R-Virginia Beach) and state Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax).
“The addition of multiple data center campuses will underscore Virginia’s position as the world’s largest data center market segment, and we thank AWS for its long-term commitment to the Commonwealth,” Del. Knight, chairman of MEI Project Approval Commission, said in a statement.
“As the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud, AWS is a tremendous economic driver in Virginia that will expand its roots across multiple regions of the Commonwealth, creating new jobs and an impactful ripple effect in communities,” Sen. Howell added.