November 9, 2016

Microsoft Corp. plans to invest $251.6 million to expand its data center in Mecklenburg County.

The expansion is expected to create 44 jobs and to increase capacity at the data center, state officials said Wednesday.

It is the fifth expansion at the Mecklenburg site since Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft opened the center with a $500 million investment in 2010.

With this latest expansion, Microsoft has invested $2 billion and created more than 250 jobs since 2010.

In 2011, the company invested an additional $150 million to expand the site, and in 2013 announced a $348 million expansion. Microsoft invested another $346.7 million, creating 90 new jobs, in June 2014. The company expanded for a fourth time in November 2015, investing $402.4 million and creating 42 jobs.

Virginia competed against other unnamed sites or states in the U.S. for the project, Gov. Terry McAuliffe's office said.

“With five expansions in six years, this company’s success continues to be a testament to Southern Virginia’s talented workforce and strong IT infrastructure," McAuliffe said in a statement. "The commonwealth is emerging as a leader in the data center industry."

Christian Belady, general manager of Microsoft's cloud infrastructure operations, said demand for cloud services continues to grow globally. “We will continue to invest in growing our capacity to meet the expanding demand of our customers in close collaboration with the Commonwealth of Virginia and the County of Mecklenburg.”

McAuliffe approved a $500,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Mecklenburg County with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission approved $970,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds for the project.