Microsoft data center on outskirts of Cheyenne to undergo $200M expansion, double employees

Microsoft plans a $200 million expansion of a data center on the outskirts of Cheyenne that will boost the company's cloud-computing capacities, Gov. Matt Mead and business development officials announced Tuesday.

The expansion would create 25 jobs, up from the 25 people who currently work at the facility. The construction timeline is uncertain, but Mead's office said work could begin as early as this summer.

Microsoft began developing the data center in early 2012. Microsoft will have invested $750 million in the facility by the time the latest work is complete.

"These jobs represent Wyoming's commitment to diversifying the state's economy. The people who come to work on this project also support the local economy by staying in our hotels, eating at our restaurants and spending money in other ways," Mead said in a release.

Wyoming will invest $5 million to help build infrastructure at the site. Construction work during the expansion will employ 200 to 600 people, according to the governor's office.

"The demand for cloud computing continues to grow worldwide, and we look forward to working with the community of Cheyenne to meet demand," said Christian Belady, general manager of data center services for Microsoft.

State and local officials have touted Cheyenne's cool weather and relatively inexpensive electricity in working to land massive, energy-hungry computing facilities like the Microsoft data center.

Other high-tech facilities on Cheyenne's west side include a National Center for Atmospheric Research supercomputer. The machine used for climate modeling is among the world's fastest dedicated to earth science.