Category Archives: Blog

Quincy, WA – Big Data Centers Leverage Abundant, Inexpensive Renewable Energy

Quincy, WA is the location of several giant data center facilities from industry titans such as Microsoft, Intuit, Vantage Data Centers, Yahoo!, Sabey, and Dell. There is around 2,308,000 sq. ft. of data center facility space (including current projects and additional phase build-outs). Not bad for an area predominantly known for it’sU.S. leading potato farming.

Quincy Data Center Facilities

Cheap Renewable Energy

The main benefit of having a data center located in Quincy, Washington State is the abundant renewable power (around 2,000 MW worth) from Wanapum and Priest Rapids dams operated by the Grant County PUD. The Commercial power costs are around $0.025 per KW/h, which is significantly lower than Rocky Mountain Power’s $0.0626 per KW/h “that are among the nation’s lowest”. Sabey lists their cost per KW/h at $0.225 and it is reported that Microsoft is getting their power for $0.019 per KW/h.

Power rates for Grand County Washington State

Connectivity Options

Connectivity to Quincy, WA is provided by wholesale dark fiber providers NoaNet and Grant County PUD. Zayo, Level3, Verizon and Frontier have purchased capacity from the wholesale providers in order to offer their services to the data center facilities.

Quincy Retail Fiber Optics Providers Map

Microsoft Quincy Data Center

Microsoft’s Quincy data center is a beast, with an 800,000 sq. ft. facility to provide the infrastructure for their cloud services. Split into two phases, phase one was a 500,000 sq. ft. facility, and phase two was a 300,000 sq. ft. modular design that allowed Microsoft to “substantially lower cost per megawatt to build and run our datacenters while significantly reducing time to market.” This facility is powered 100% by renewable hydroelectric power.

Microsoft Quincy Data Center Facility

Intuit Quincy Data Center

In August of 2009, Intuit opened its 240,000 sq. ft. Quincy data center facility. “Intuit’s new building is the California software company’s primary data site for its main products such as QuickBooks and TurboTax, said Bruce Eisele, the company’s production operations manager.” Intuit consolidated its footprint in 27 data center facilities into this Quincy facility. Intuit uses goats to help with weed control on their 63 acre Quincy campus.

Intuit Quincy Data Center Facility

Vantage Data Centers

Vantage Data Centers has a 133,000 sq. ft. data center facility under construction, the first phase, which is also 100% pre-leased. Their second phase is slated to add 235,000 sq. ft. of data center space.

Yahoo! Data Center

Yahoo! developed a high-efficiency data center, which looks more like a chicken-coop, when they entered the Quincy data center market. Yahoo! had their ribbon cutting ceremony in December 2007, complete with politicians, company big-wigs and others involved in the data center build. They even had their official yodelerchristen the facility – the same yodeler behind their catchy commercials from their early days.

Aerial photo of Yahoo! Data Center in Quincy


Sabey’s Intergate.Quincy data center complex will span some 520,000 sq. ft. of data center space. Sabey has documented their Quincy build-out progress with a flickr photostream. Sabey will be building in some 48MW of power, which is a lot of power, but at the incredibly low price of $0.0225 KW/h.

Sabey's Intergate.Quincy Data Center campus


Dell is building on 80 acres of land in Quincy, with the first phase of just 40,000 sq. ft. that will include a rotary heat exchanger to use outside air to improve cooling efficiency. Fully built-out, the Dell campus would include 325,000 of data center space.

Dell Opens New Western Technology Center in Quincy, Washington

Dell Services today opened a new technology center in Quincy, Wash., that will provide customers in North America access to cloud technologies and IT outsourcing services. The opening is part of Dell’s ongoing commitment to develop new cloud-based services, solutions and delivery options.

The Dell Western Technology Center is a world-class, multi-client data center, with redundant network connectivity, uninterruptible power supply (UPS), cooling, utility and back-up emergency power generation. It is built with the largest installation of energy-efficient heat wheel technology in the U.S. for highly efficient cooling and low energy consumption, keeping costs and power usage to a minimum.

“Dell is proud to be listed as one of the top Green IT companies in the world,” stated Patrick Mooney, executive director, Dell Services. “Our efforts to optimize the Power Usage Effectiveness at our Western Technology Center appeals to customers who want to consider the impact to the environment when configuring their IT solutions and to our environmentally conscious team members who participate in green initiatives across Dell.”

IT Outsourcing services provided through the Dell Western Technology Center include the following:

  • Disaster recovery and business continuity, which provides tools and processes to keep organizations running in the event of an emergency
  • Data center management for an infrastructure foundation to support organizational growth
  • Enhanced information security to protect infrastructure and ensure data confidentiality, integrity and availability
  • Data storage, protection and management
  • Platform management, which enhances server utilization and improves responsiveness
  • Enterprise class secure private and hybrid clouds

“The Dell Western Technology Center extends our cloud services and delivery capability,” said Kevin Jones, vice president, Dell Services. “By providing customers the technology they need — without up-front costs and complex maintenance — we can take a tremendous burden off their IT staff, enabling them to innovate and deliver high-value services that drive real business results.”

Greenpeace lauds Quincy as green data center site

April 21, 2012

By Ryan Lancaster,
Columbia Basin Herald staff reporter

QUINCY – A report issued by Greenpeace this week holds Quincy up as a relatively ‘green’ option for technology companies looking to place data centers.

The 52-page report, titled “How Clean Is Your Cloud,” analyzed the energy policies and data center operations of leading technology companies such as Apple, Yahoo!, Microsoft and Dell, all of which store vast amounts of information used in cloud computing.

With some exceptions, the report says, most tech companies are failing to adopt clean energy practices and are still reliant on energy sources such as coal-fired power plants to run their power-hungry data centers.

Speaking to the Seattle Times, Greenpeace senior policy analyst Gary Cook, who is the report’s author, said Quincy is “a good place to go,” pointing to the area’s access to hydropower via Grant County PUD.

Quincy currently has several data centers, including those operated by Yahoo!, Dell and Microsoft.

Yahoo! and Dell ranked highest in the report among the 14 firms listed on a “clean energy index” – both scored in the 56 percent range – but Microsoft was in the bottom five companies, with a score of about 14 percent.

Greenpeace lauded Yahoo! for “prioritizing access to renewable energy in their cloud expansion, and (becoming) more active in supporting policies to drive greater renewable energy investment.”

Dell was given a “C” rating for infrastructure siting, but the company did get points for some recent investments, including its data center in Quincy, which the report said “showcases a preference for renewable energy.”

Greenpeace suggested Dell should announce a preference for renewable energy to better clarify its policy to various utilities and countries vying for its business.

Microsoft, meanwhile, was chided for not having a “stated or consistent” data center siting policy that gives preference to renewable energy sources. Although Microsoft shows progress in some areas, such as the expansion of the Quincy site, the company is also expanding its data center infrastructure in Virginia, which is heavily reliant on coal and nuclear power, according to the report.

The report details how parts of Washington and Oregon have earned the nickname of the “Silicon Forest” due to the high concentration of tech companies in the region. Washington, and Grant County in particular, scored points for having a large amount of hydropower, while eastern Oregon was rebuked for importing about 60 percent of its energy from coal plants outside the state through the power company PacifiCorp.

Facebook located its first data center in Prineville, Oregon, and Apple has reportedly opted to invest its second iCloud data center there as well.

“As cloud companies look to further expand in this region, much more careful attention must be paid to the overall electricity ecosystem, and where the supply of electricity to meet additional demand will come from,” the report states. “Without further investment in renewable energy to ensure the demand from cloud infrastructure is being matched with adequate additional renewable energy capacity, cloud companies could outstrip local supply, resulting in the further importing of coal power from PacifiCorp and others outside the region, instead of making the rest of the surrounding grid greener.”

Level 3 expands fiber backbone to Quincy, Washington

Level 3 capitalizing on existing demand and expected growth in the region

Network operator and data center services provider Level 3 has expanded its network’s fiber backbone into eastern Washington State, specifically Quincy and East Wenatchee.

This is a strategic move to capture demand for connectivity in one of the major and quickest-growing US data center markets. There are a number of large provider and enterprise data centers in Quincy and East Wenatchee, with new ones being built.

Paul Savill said Level 3 expanded its network based on both existing demand and seeing opportunity for market growth. Quincy and East Wenatchee have both.

“Eastern Washington (i.e..Quincy and East Wenatchee) is a key region for Level 3 in terms of growth, and we are delighted that our expanded capacity in the area will enable businesses to improve efficiency and expand, all while leveraging Level 3’s advanced, international fiber network,” he said.

Companies with substantial data center presence in the region include Dell, Yahoo!, Microsoft and VMware, among others. Sabey is one of the largest wholesale providers here, and Vantage, a young but successful Santa Clara, California-based wholesaler, is currently building a data center in Quincy.

Because of the growth in the region’s data center sector, network requirements there are changing. Customers need more robust backbones that can handle more capacity.

Level 3 has installed more than 200 miles of fiber cable and connections to the five customer data centers. In addition to its own fiber-optic backbone (connected to the provider’s own international network), it is offering customers connectivity to regional incumbent local exchange carriers.

Wavelength options available include Gigabit Ethernet (GbE), 40GbE and support for 100GbE capabilities in the future.

Amway breaks ground on $38 million Nutrilite Botanical Concentrate Manufacturing facility at Port of Quincy

The facility, the first of its kind in the region, is expected to create 30 jobs

QUINCY, Wash., Aug. 29, 2012 – Direct-selling giant Amway executives met today with elected officials, and area business and community leaders, to break ground on a $38 million botanical concentrate manufacturing plant in Quincy, Washington.

Built on 12 acres Amway purchased in the Port of Quincy, the 48,000-square-foot facility is projected to create 30 jobs when operations begin in 2014. It will process botanicals from the company’s nearby Trout Lake Farm operations, the largest certified organic herb farm in North America.

Processed botanicals such as blueberry, Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea angustifolia, oregano, peppermint and nettle, will be supplied to Amway global manufacturing operations. These plant concentrates will be used in some of the company’s top products, including NUTRILITE® DOUBLE X® Vitamin/Mineral/Phytonutrient, NUTRILITE Daily Multivitamin Multimineral and NUTRILITE Concentrated Fruits and Vegetables tablets.

The Quincy facility is part of a $185 million U.S. manufacturing expansion Amway announced earlier this year to meet growing global demand for its top-selling NUTRILITE brand of vitamin, mineral and dietary supplements. Nutrition product sales in 2011 accounted for 45 percent, or $4.7 billion, of Amway sales. Alticor, parent company to Amway, reported 2011 sales of $10.9 billion.

“We appreciate the spirit of partnership that has been extended to us by local business and economic development leaders, elected officials as well as the Quincy community,” said George Calvert, Amway vice president of research and development, and supply chain, who spoke at the ground-breaking ceremony. “This occasion marks a significant milestone for our company as this project launch is another step toward ensuring that we meet the growing demand for our flagship brand of NUTRILITE products all around the world.”

Sam Rehnborg, Ph.D., whose father, Carl Rehnborg, founded the nutrition company that became known as Nutrilite, also participated in the event. “Over the last seven decades, Nutrilite has grown from a Quonset hut in southern California to best-in-class agribusiness and manufacturing operations around the world,” he said. “The new site in Quincy is the next chapter in our rich history, and we are honored by the warm welcome we have received here.”

“We are excited about Amway-Nutrilite beginning construction of its new state-of-the-art botanical processing and plant extraction facility at the Port of Quincy, as this is the first facility of its type in our region that will be doing this sort of complex value-added agricultural processing and manufacturing, while also using many of our local crops,” stated Curt Morris, chair/president, Port of Quincy. “More importantly, this new Nutrilite facility will create jobs and help to further diversify the economy of Quincy and Central Washington.”

Amway also is working on three other manufacturing projects as part of a U.S. manufacturing expansion:

  • A new $81 million nutrition soft gels and tablet manufacturing operation at the company’s Spaulding Avenue site in Ada, Michigan, is expected to create up to 200 jobs over a three-year period.
  • A $24 million nutrition powder products plant unveiled in 2012 at the company’s World Headquarters is expected to create 50 new jobs in Ada, Michigan.
  • A $42 million project in Buena Park, California, includes a new granulation facility to support tablet manufacturing; new research and development facilities and pilot laboratories; and a two-story professional office building.

The Amway facility in Quincy will replace the current extraction and concentration operation in Lakeview, California.

Another win for Port of Quincy and Grant County

By Columbia Basin Herald Editorial Board

Friday, August 31, 2012

Wednesday’s groundbreaking ceremony for Amway’s upcoming Nutrilite Botanical Concentration Manufacturing facility in Quincy marked another victory for Grant County business development. The $38 million project is anticipated to bring 30 new jobs to Grant County when operations begin in 2014 and is part of the company’s $185 million U.S. expansion. Driving through Quincy, it appears the town is celebrating the new business too. A congratulatory sign is displayed on the front of the Reimann Simmons House, marking the special occasion.

At the site, renderings of the plant were displayed on easels, offering guests a chance a glimpse of what is to come. A white tent covered a seating area for the audience, who were treated to a view of the countryside. It appeared some of the land had recently been cleared of weeds to prepare for the upcoming construction.

The project will help diversify the Quincy area’s agriculturally-based economy, which is also known for its many data centers.

Perhaps the new business will attract suppliers to Grant County and create more jobs. The same effect was seen with Moses Lake’s aerial lift manufacturer Genie Industries, when Parker Hannifen and Laserfab located to Moses Lake to better serve Genie.

Amway’s new plant offers the benefits of some steady business and job growth to Grant County.

One of the event speakers, state Department of Agriculture Director Dan Newhouse, touched on how Washington state growers are already leaders in growing blueberry and mint. The crops are needed for Amway’s products.

“Amway is opening doors for much more opportunities for producers in our state,” Newhouse said.

The Port of Quincy deserves recognition, as businesses being built from ground up are so key to our economic future, he added.

George Calvert, Amway’s vice president of research and development, explained Amway products from Quincy will be flowing to other areas, including Michigan, China, India, and Vietnam.

Quincy Mayor Jim Hemberry mentioned that with multimillion projects like Amway’s, property tax and sales tax revenue come in. Property tax is used to provide services related to the operations and maintenance of the city and sales tax is used for infrastructure improvement,street equipment, fire services and parks.

With the plant’s construction comes new construction jobs, which will provides a much needed boost to local businesses, he said. It is because construction workers stay in local hotels, eat in area restaurants, shop in hardware stores and utilize other services in our community, Hemberry explained.

The addition of Amway improves the level of service and quality of life in our community, as the town is gaining a good neighbor who is joining our community of industries in the city, he added.

Grant County, City of Quincy, Quincy School District, the local fire department, hospital district, business leaders, Port of Quincy and state officials and the Grant County Economic Development Council should be congratulated for their efforts.

The Editorial Board welcomes Amway to Grant County and look forward to the company’s future here.

Chinasoft International expands to Quincy, Washington

Quincy, Wash. – Global software company Chinasoft International has announced it will be locating operations in Quincy within the next month.

Chinasoft had been looking at locating in Grant County for the last year and had been in communications with various economic development entities such as the Port of Quincy, Grant County Economic Development Council and Big Bend Community College.

According to Brad Cao, Chinasoft’s business development manager, the company should have operations up and running in Quincy, WA by the end of November. Cao also indicated that Chinasoft has begun consulting for a high-tech company in the Quincy area.

As a result, Cao was at the recent fall hiring event at Big Bend Community College in Grant County to meet potential candidates to fill open positions at Chinasoft’s new operation in Quincy. He said the company is seeking six people with programming experience and that number would likely increase as operations expand in Quincy in the future.

Cao stated that this is the company’s first venture in the central Washington region. Chinasoft currently has a facility in Redmond, Washington.

Founded in 2000, Chinasoft International now has more than 16,000 employees in 45 cities worldwide. Chinasoft’s United States operations involve software development, IT outsourcing and software testing.

Cao said interested candidates can apply online at Chinasoft’s webpage at

About Port of Quincy

Located in the center of Washington State, the Port of Quincy is ranked as one of the top low-cost rural locations in the United States for business and economic development with a full array of infrastructure including high-capacity bandwidth dark fiber, a skilled workforce, an abundant supply of irrigation water and low-cost hydropower electricity, approved foreign trade zone status, a key cross-country rail mainline (from Seattle to Chicago), a modern rail intermodal terminal, a major interstate freeway (I-90), a new and larger capacity water treatment system, an ample supply of natural gas, relatively inexpensive industrial and commercial properties, and nearby commercial air service. The Port of Quincy has premier sites for high-tech companies, food processing and food manufacturing companies, and warehousing and distribution companies, etc. At the Port of Quincy major agricultural and food companies such as ConAgra Foods, National Frozen Foods, NORPAC, Amway-Nutrilite, Oneonta, Stemilt, CMI, Double Diamond, Jones Produce, Columbia Colstor, etc. find themselves next to technology companies like Yahoo!, ChinaSoft International, Dell, Intuit, Microsoft, Sabey and Vantage.

Port of Quincy helps to form new Ancient Lakes Wine AVA

Nov. 9, 2012 – Quincy, Wash. – Wine hailing from the Quincy area now has a special distinction after the Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley Region was officially recognized as Washington’s 13th American Viticultural Area (AVA). The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (ATTB) established the new viticultural area, after approving a petition made by Joan Davenport, a professor at Washington State University, the Port of Quincy, and various Quincy wineries. The decision was published in the Federal Register recently. The Port of Quincy was instrumental in pushing for the Ancient Lakes distinction.

The ATTB defines a viticultural area for American wine as a grape-growing region having distinguishing features. The new AVA covers more than 162,000 acres in Grant, Douglas and Kittitas counties. According to the Federal Register, 1,399 acres within the new AVA are dedicated to six commercially-producing vineyards. The new viticultural area lies entirely within the existing Columbia Valley viticultural area.

ATTB establishes viticultural areas to allow wine producers a way to better describe the origin of their wines and to allow consumers a method of identifying wines they may purchase. Under ATTB regulations, 80 percent of the fruit has to come from the viticultural area a wine label says it does.

For example, wine that is made from fruit from both the new Ancient Lakes AVA and the Wahluke Slope AVA must be classified as Columbia Valley wine. However, wine made exclusively from Quincy vineyards can now carry the Ancient Lakes distinction.

According to Cameron Fries, owner of White Heron Cellars west of Quincy, all of Washington’s wineries except for the ones located in the Puget Sound, are technically located within the Columbia Valley AVA. As a result, labeling wine as Ancient Lakes wine, will bring recognition to the vineyards in the area, he said.
Wineries in the new AVA can begin labeling their wine with the Ancient Lakes geographic distinction on Nov. 19.

Quincy, WA Ranked as Lowest Cost Intermodal Location to Site a Distribution Center

By Joseph Bonney, Senior Editor, The Journal of Commerce

Mar 29, 2013

The central Washington town of Quincy offers the lowest operating costs for distribution centers in a site-selection consultant’s survey of 29 western U.S. and Canadian locations with intermodal connections to regional markets.

The most expensive sites in the survey were in California and Vancouver, British Columbia, according to The Boyd Company, based in Princeton, N.J.

Boyd’s survey compared costs for a hypothetical 500,000-square-foot distribution center employing 175 workers and shipping to western regional markets. The analysis included cost factors such as labor, real estate, construction, taxes, utilities and shipping.

Annual operating costs among western U.S. cities in the survey ranged from $21.6 million in the northern San Francisco Bay area to $14.1 million in Quincy, in central Washington.

Canadian cities’ costs ranged from $23.6 million in Vancouver, British Columbia, to $18.7 million in Calgary, Alberta. Canadian costs were calculated in U.S. dollars at parity.

All of the 29 locations surveyed have intermodal terminals of at least one of the major railroads serving western North America: BNSF, Union Pacific, Canadian National or Canadian Pacific.

“We’re not recommending that our clients make any investments without intermodal rail facilities,” said John Boyd Jr., principal at the firm that produced the report.

Boyd said intermodal rail helps blunt the impact of rising fuel costs. The company projects over-the-road trucking costs will rise 5.6 percent this year and by a much higher rate in California, where a new low-carbon fuel standard is expected to push diesel retail prices to $6.69 a gallon by 2020.

The report also cited the importance of electricity costs in distribution center site selection. One reason for low costs of DCs in central Washington is inexpensive hydroelectric power.

The Boyd report is on request at

New well funded to draw Milbrandt Vineyards to Port of Quincy

Thursday, April 10, 2014

EPHRATA – A new water system in George may attract about $4 million in investment from Milbrandt Vineyards.

The Grant County commissioners recently approved an $183,000 grant and a $70,000 loan to pay for a new well on Port of Quincy property near George.

The money is coming from the Strategic Infrastructure Program, which uses a sales tax refund to pay for economic development projects.

The port and city requested roughly $380,000 from the program to construct a well at the port’s Industrial Park 5. The port purchased 74 acres near George in 2006.

Milbrandt Vineyards contacted the port in 2013 to ask about purchasing roughly 13 acres to build a new grape-crushing facility on the land, according to the port and city’s application.

“In order to accommodate this first tenant in Industrial Park 5, the port committed to constructing a potable water system on the city,” according to the application. “As there is no exiting water source within the City of George north of Interstate 90, it was determined that the most feasible approach was to construct a new well on site to serve the tenants of the port’s Industrial Park  5.”

The project is expected to bring about eight jobs to the city, and the possibility for future expansion of industry at the park.

“The City of George has experienced economic depression as a result of a number of factors … because of these factors the city has experienced unemployment levels well above the state average for a number of years,” according to the application. “According to the Grant County Economic Development Council, the unemployment rate in George is approximately 21.4 percent.”