Apple announced it will build a new $1.375 billion data center in Waukee, Iowa, which will be 100 percent powered by wind energy. While there are a number of reasons Apple chose Iowa (second lowest cost of doing business in the nation, high quality workers, to name a few), there’s one reason that is unique to the Hawkeye State – Iowa is the easiest state in the country for companies to purchase renewable energy. Here’s what Apple CEO Tim Cook told Radio Iowa about Iowa’s availability of renewable energy:
“For us, that’s kind of a gate. If we couldn’t do that, we would not be here,” Cook said. “To Iowa’s credit, Iowa saw this and had the vision to work with the utilities and so forth so it could happen. I think that says a lot about the people here and how they work together.”
More than 36 percent of Iowa’s electricity comes from wind (the highest percentage of any state), Iowa’s electricity rates are significantly lower than the national average and Iowa has one of the most stable grids in the country.
Data centers are “one of the most energy-intensive building types” according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft all now have data centers in Iowa running on renewable energy. The state’s utility companies also now have unmatched experience in creating renewable energy purchase agreements with large users.
While data centers have been the early adopters of Iowa’s wind energy, the state’s vast availability could also power large manufacturing plants, retailers and any other business that places a priority on renewable energy.
Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft are locating their most energy intensive structures in Iowa, and powering them with renewable energy. The message from that should be clear – any company that is putting a priority on renewable energy in their site selection criteria should be looking at Iowa. For ready-to-develop sites in Iowa, visit