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Microsoft meets Southside

Microsoft Corp. will invest up to $499 million to locate their latest generation data center (Gen4) in Mecklenburg County, in what will be the largest economic investment in Southern Virginia history, Gov. Bob McDonnell announced Friday.

Using modular technology and advanced cooling mechanics, the center will be Microsoft’s most advanced data center. The project will create 50 new jobs, and Virginia successfully competed against North Carolina and Texas to secure this sought after facility.

“Microsoft is a household name, and securing this global project is a significant economic win for Virginia,” said McDonnell. “The company’s search process was long and competitive, and a great team of players came together to show Microsoft that Mecklenburg County was the right fit for its new version of a state-of-the-art data center. This project represents the largest investment project in the history of Southern Virginia. It will further bolster the commonwealth’s standing as a leader in the Information Technology sector, while creating new jobs for our citizens and spurring economic development throughout the region.”

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential, the governor said.

“We are incredibly grateful for the support and work of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the economic development team, and local officials in Mecklenburg County, and are excited to announce that we will be building our latest state-of-the-art data center near Boydton, Virginia,” said Kevin Timmons, general manager of Microsoft Datacenter Services. “This new data center will enable the best possible delivery of services to our current and future customers. My team and I look forward to engaging in the deployment of our latest modular solution in Virginia.”

McDonnell approved a $2.1 million grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Mecklenburg County with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission approved $4.8 million in funds. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide training assistance through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Mecklenburg County and the Town of Boydton to secure the project for Virginia.

The Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative (MBC) provided invaluable assistance to make this project possible. MBC’s open-access fiber optic network was a key component in Microsoft’s decision to locate in Virginia, and will provide diverse fiber routes for connectivity to major carrier interconnection points in the Eastern United States.

Dominion Virginia Power also was instrumental in securing this project.  Access to an extremely reliable electric supply and competitively priced electricity from environmentally responsible generation sources were critical site location factors for Microsoft.

“Mecklenburg County is proud to announce the location of Microsoft in the Boydton Industrial Park,” said Glenn Barbour, chairman of the Mecklenburg County Board of Supervisors. “The selection of Mecklenburg County indicates that we are progressive and have the necessary tools available to offer in this high-tech age. We believe this selection by Microsoft will give our county the recognition it deserves in attracting future companies that deal in technology. We thank all the many partners who assisted us, especially Governor McDonnell’s office. Thanks to the Tobacco Commission, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative and Dominion Virginia Power. I would also like to thank our dedicated and hard working staff for their diligent efforts in bringing Mecklenburg County forward to the 21st century.”

“I am delighted that the county, the Tobacco Commission, and Governor McDonnell’s office worked well together for the good of the region,” said Senator Frank Ruff, a member of the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission. “It is great that a company of the stature of Microsoft has seen what Mecklenburg County has to offer.”

“I am excited and thankful that Microsoft chose Mecklenburg County to locate it newest data center, resulting in new jobs and millions of dollars in investment,” said Delegate Tommy Wright, a member of the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission. “The future for economic development in Mecklenburg County and Southside Virginia is much brighter due to this successful collaborative effort.”

Delegate Terry Kilgore, chairman of the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission, also remarked, “The Tobacco Commission is excited about this investment in Southern Virginia.  Microsoft’s decision to locate in Mecklenburg County is a huge investment in the area and will bring much needed economic activity and development to the region.  We applaud the McDonnell Administration for their hard work in persuading Microsoft that Virginia, and more importantly Southern Virginia, really is the best place to do business.”

“We’re very proud that our advanced fiber optic network will support the high capacity, diverse routing and low latency requirements of Microsoft’s new data center at the Boydton, Virginia GigaPark,” said Tad Deriso, president and CEO of the Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative. “Our GigaParks are a perfect example of how private sector companies like Microsoft can benefit from an advanced telecom infrastructure in a region with a low cost operating environment.”

“Along with serving our existing customers well, we believe it is important to help attract new businesses that bring good jobs and economic growth to Virginia,” said Dominion Virginia Power CEO Paul D. Koonce. “We are pleased to have a part in today’s good news. We see Microsoft’s decision as a vote of confidence in our commonwealth and our people.”