Amazon Web Services (AWS) is set to massively expand its spending on data centers in Virginia.

Governor Glenn Youngkin and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership this week announced that AWS plans to invest $35 billion by 2040 to “establish multiple data center campuses” across Virginia.

AWS logo
– Sebastian Moss

While the company already has a sizeable presence in the state across multiple locations in various stages of development, Governor Youngkin and Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s announcement suggests this will be new spending. The announcement said “numerous localities” in the Commonwealth are under consideration and will be decided at a later date.

“These new campuses will combine expandable capacity to position AWS for long-term growth in the Commonwealth,” the announcement said.

The investment – the largest economic development capital investment in Virginia history – will reportedly create at least 1,000 total new jobs across Virginia.

“Virginia is a world leader in innovation and cloud computing, thanks to its investment in a robust, highly-skilled workforce and emphasis on long-term public and private partnerships,” said Roger Wehner, Director of Economic Development, AWS. “Since 2006, AWS has invested more than $35 billion in Virginia, boosting the Commonwealth’s total Gross Domestic Product by nearly $7 billion and supporting thousands of jobs annually. Building on these successful beginnings, we plan to invest an additional $35 billion in the Commonwealth of Virginia by 2040 and create 1,000 jobs.”

Governor Glenn Youngkin added: “AWS has a significant presence in Virginia, and we are excited that AWS has chosen to continue their growth and expand their footprint across the Commonwealth. Virginia will continue to encourage the development of this new generation of data center campuses across multiple regions of the Commonwealth.”

Amazon already has a significant presence in Northern Virginia and continues to expand in the area. As well as acquiring more land in Sterling and Aldie in Loudoun County, plus Prince William County’s Gainesville, the company is looking to expand in Fauquier County’s Warrenton, Culpeper County’s Stevensburg, Fairfax County’s Chantilly, and Prince William County’s Manassas, as well as Loudoun's Bristow and Stone Ridge.

A number of these projects outside the usual center of Loudoun County, including those in Prince William, Fauquier, and Culpeper Counties, have faced strong local opposition and some have been paused in recent months.

It seems there will be numerous tax incentives presented to the cloud company in exchange for its latest round of investment in Virginia.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership said it worked with the General Assembly’s Major Employment and Investment (MEI) Project Approval Commission to secure the project to expand data center investment to new locations across Virginia.

Pending approval by the Virginia General Assembly, the Commonwealth is developing a new ‘Mega Data Center Incentive Program’, which AWS will be eligible to receive.

The new program includes up to a 15-year extension of data center sales and uses tax exemptions on qualifying equipment and enabling software.

In addition, and also subject to approval by the General Assembly, AWS will be eligible to receive an MEI custom performance grant of up to $140 million for site and infrastructure improvements, workforce development, and other project-related costs.

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