Apple Will Turn Arizona Sapphire Plant into Global 'Command Center'

Apple is building a massive data center in Arizona, according to an announcement from the office of Arizona Governor Doug Ducey. The facility is being labeled a "Global Command Center," and Apple is reportedly spending US$2 billion to build it.

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"We're proud to continue investing in the U.S. with a new data center in Arizona, which will serve as a command center for our global networks," Apple said in a statement. "This multibillion-dollar project is one of the largest investments we've ever made. When completed it will add over 600 engineering and construction jobs to the more than one million jobs Apple has already created in the U.S. Like all Apple data centers, it will be powered by 100 percent renewable energy, much of which will come from a new local solar farm."

We should note that the "one million jobs Apple has already created in the U.S." include third-party jobs that support Apple's corporate and retail infrastructure. Total headcount of actual Apple employees is numbered in the tens of thousands.

According to Bloomberg, Apple is building the data center in the failed sapphire plant the company operated in conjunction with GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT). That project ended when GTAT declared bankruptcy after failing to meet key milestones with Apple.

Apple said at the time it would repurpose the facility, with a focus on preserving jobs. To that end, Governor Ducey told Bloomberg, "I got the impression from Apple that they wanted to do the right thing and we're excited that they are doing it here in Arizona."

Apple will also be building its own solar farm to power the facility. Apple has been a leader in renewable energy, and the company has vowed to power all of its data centers with renewable power. The governor's office said that Apple's solar investment in Arizona will generate energy to power more than 14,500 Arizona homes.

This facility joins other known data centers in North Carolina, Oregon, and Nevada.

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