Apple has officialy begun work on the first phase of its Prineville, Oregon, data center, which is expected to cost the company around $68 million to complete. It sounds like Apple is expanding on its data center capacities to keep up with the ever increasing iCloud service usage.

This data center will be Apple’s fourth data center and is following just behind Facebook, which opened its own data center in Prineville just last year. Apple has begun preparations by clearing and flattening the land for one of the two 338,000 square-foot buildings, which is more than twice the size of a typical Costco store. Apple will eventually build the second building, which will add 14 more data halls.

Before Apple began work on the newest data center, the company signed a deal with Prineville and Crook County, which granted it a 15-year property tax break. In order to get this tax-break, Apple has to invest $250 million in the data center and hire at least 35 people to run the facility.

Apple has remained somewhat tight-lipped about the data center, and security personnel at the site declined to confirm who their employer was, despite Apple having previously confirmed a new data center at this location and revealing its plans for the data center on its website:

Apple’s data center in Prineville, Oregon.
Our newest data center, located in Prineville, Oregon, is just getting under way and will be every bit as environmentally responsible as our Maiden data center. At Prineville we have access to enough local renewable energy sources to completely meet the needs of the facility. To achieve that goal, we’re working with two local utilities as well as a number of renewable energy generation providers to purchase wind, hydro, and geothermal power — all from local sources.”

Image Credit: The Verge