How Microsoft picked the West Valley for its data centers


Disclosure: Rose Law Group represents Microsoft

Plenty of power, land and workers all played a role

By Hayley Ringle | Phoenix Business Journal

Microsoft Corp. executives first began exploring the Phoenix area for its three data centers in April 2013 when APS executives flew them around in a helicopter to see the lay of the land.

The tech giant’s project was originally called Project Wildcat, and no one could mention the M word due to nondisclosure agreements, said David Bentler, manager of economic development for Arizona Public Service Co., the state’s largest utility.

“In January 2017, APS executives gathered a brain trust to work with Microsoft to make the project happen,” Bentler said Tuesday at an Arizona Association for Economic Development lunch in Phoenix discussing the Microsoft data centers. “For the next 16 months, we met on a bi-monthly basis. Many sites were discussed.”