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Microsoft to invest £1.8 billion for data centres in Spain

Written by Wed 10 Jul 2024

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Microsoft plans to invest £1.8 billion ($2.3 billion) in a new data centre project in the northeastern region of Spain, as part of a broader strategy to establish Aragon as a hub for cloud storage and digital innovation.

President of the Government of Aragon, Jorge Azcon, noted this investment brings Microsoft’s total planned investments in the region to nearly £5.6 billion ($7.1 billion), highlighting the company’s commitment to supporting Spanish digital initiatives.

Aragon is considered a good location for data centre investment for many reasons. The region is characterised by low population density and a well-developed infrastructure, which are useful for data centre operations. The environment is also ideal, providing sunny weather and strong wind exposure, boosting renewable energy production in both solar and wind farms.

According to a report from Red Electrica, as of 2022, 75% of Aragon’s energy is powered by renewables.

“By technology, wind, with 50%, was the leading source of generation in the region, followed by combined cycle (14.1%), solar photovoltaic (14%), hydro (10.8%) and cogeneration (8.5%),” said the report.

Investment Brings Economic Opportunities

Microsoft’s investment in data centres in Aragon could have substantial economic implications, resulting directly in over 2,100 technology jobs by 2030. Indirectly, the investment may have a multiplier effect, attracting additional investments from tech companies and fostering more innovation in the area.

Azcon emphasised the positive impact that an investment this size can have on the economy, suggesting that it could lead to the establishment of more technology companies in Aragon. For example, Amazon recently announced a £13.2 billion ($16.9 billion) investment in expanding its data centres in Aragon, where it operates three facilities.

“Data centres will undoubtedly play a fundamental role as the first link in the chain… that will generate investment, innovation and a wider range of digital services in our community,” said Azcon.

Microsoft’s commitment to Spain extends beyond data centres in Aragon. Microsoft has also opened its first cloud region of data centres in Madrid, called Spain Central. This region will offer a range of services, including productivity services, data analytics, cybersecurity, and generative AI.

The new data centre region is expected to significantly boost the Spanish economy, potentially adding £8.3 billion ($10.7 billion) to the national GDP and creating approximately 77,000 jobs between 2024 and 2030.

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Written by Wed 10 Jul 2024

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