AWS reports it invested $51.9B in Va. from 2011-21
Amazon subsidiary opened its first data center in Va.
Amazon Web Services Inc. invested more than $51.9 billion in Virginia between 2011 and 2021, according to an economic impact statement released by the company Wednesday.
That investment total includes capital and operational expenditures in Virginia, including Loudoun, Fairfax and Prince William counties, AWS said. During that same period, the company has contributed an estimated $8.2 billion total gross domestic product in the state. In 2021, AWS employed about 8,710 full-time workers in roles including data center engineers and technicians, solutions architects, software engineers, business developers. That same year, about 11,180 full- and part-time highly skilled workers supported AWS construction, operations and maintenance on-site at AWS facilities in Virginia.
AWS is a subsidiary of Amazon.com Inc. and is the world’s largest cloud computing provider. Virginia became the home of AWS’ first data center in 2006; in 2022, the company paid more than $334 million in business personal property taxes in connection with its data centers. While the company would not disclose how many data centers it currently operates in Virginia, in January, Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced that AWS plans to invest an additional $35 billion by 2040 to establish multiple data center campuses across the state and add 1,000 jobs.
Northern Virginia has long been the epicenter of the world’s data landscape. In 2022, the region accounted for 64% of the total new data center capacity brought online in primary markets across the U.S., according to the North American Data Center Trends Report by CBRE. More than 70% of the world’s internet traffic comes through Loudoun County’s Data Center Alley.
Buddy Rizer, executive director of Loudoun’s economic development department, told Virginia Business that AWS is Loudoun’s largest data center operator. In January, AWS had at least 65 centers in operation or under development in the county, though Rizer could not provide an exact updated number Wednesday.
Loudoun has more than 200 data centers comprising more than 26 million square feet and at least 4 million more in development. Rizer estimated Loudoun’s data centers would contribute more than $700 million in local tax revenue in the county in 2023. In nearby Prince William County, which has become a new focus for data center construction, about 39 data centers total more than 6.9 million square feet with an additional 4.8 million square feet in development. Prince William’s data center tax revenues increased from $6.2 million in 2012 to $101.42 million in 2022.
In addition to its economic impact on the state, AWS announced initiatives around science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) education and workforce and job training, including for women in cloud technology. In October 2022, AWS opened its first East Coast-based skills center to provide free, in-person foundational courses on cloud computing. That location, in Arlington County, is near the company’s East Coast headquarters, HQ2, which recently started opening to employees at the end of May.