A bit of leftover news from last month, but this report in Data Center Dynamics reinforces the observation that some utility-scale data center developers are expanding existing sites rather than seeking new locations.
In this case it is Microsoft announcing an expansion to their facility in Quincy WA, following an announced expansion in West Des Moines IA.
The Quincy expansion is notable to me for two reasons. First, I had the impression that the available cheap power in Quincy (just over three cents per kWh) had been spoken for, because there hasn't been any data center development announcements for the town in some time.
If Microsoft is getting more clean hydro power in the three cent price range, that is really a coup in terms of keeping their power purchase portfolio clean and cheap.
Second, why a 200-acre site? I have surmised that larger sites are the new paradigm so that utility scale DC operators can explore self generation (solar PV) and expand in the future. I can't see Microsoft pursuing solar with three cent hydropower as the alternative, so 200 acres might suggest a long term plan of expansion.
Then again, $11 million for land is nothing in the scheme of things when you are developing data centers (the West Des Moines expansion project has a minimum price tag of $667 million)!