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Tax incentives spur Yahoo expansion

QUINCY, Wash. – State tax incentives to get more data centers plugged into Grant County’s cheap power seem to be working.

Yahoo, the Internet mega-company, began construction last week on a fast-track expansion of its existing 180,000-square-foot facility here, a Port of Quincy spokesman confirmed.

The project – using prefabricated metal structures – should be completed by May, said Pat Boss, the port’s business affairs consultant. That’s well ahead of a state-imposed July 1 deadline for companies to begin data center construction to be eligible for the tax incentives.

“There’s no question that the incentives are a big part of why Internet companies are locating and expanding here,” said Boss. “Throw in cheap, renewable power, and you’ve got an attractive package.”

Groundwork is under way, said Boss, to prepare for installation of two energy-efficient metal “coops” – 60 by 120 feet in size – that boost the flow of cool air through computing equipment.

“Yep, they look like chicken coops,” he said. “And they use louvers and vents and a cupola to control the heat inside.”

Using coops, the entire expansion project should take only six months to build, Scott Noteboom, Yahoo’s director of global data center operations, told, a website spotlighting the computing industry.

Yahoo is building a similar facility in Lockport, N.Y.

Last March, the state Legislature passed sales tax exemptions for data centers in 32 rural counties.

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