Microsoft announces US$3.3 billion investment in Wisconsin to spur AI innovation and economic growth

Microsoft announces US$3.3 billion investment in Wisconsin to spur AI innovation and economic growth

Microsoft has announced a broad investment package designed to strengthen the role of South-East Wisconsin as a hub for AI-powered economic activity, innovation and job creation.

These investments include US$3.3B in cloud computing and AI infrastructure, the creation of the country’s first manufacturing-focused AI co-innovation lab and an AI skilling initiative to equip more than 100,000 of the state’s residents with essential AI skills.

“Wisconsin has a rich and storied legacy of innovation and ingenuity in manufacturing,” said Brad Smith, Vice Chair and President of Microsoft. “We will use the power of AI to help advance the next generation of manufacturing companies, skills and jobs in Wisconsin and across the country. This is what a big company can do to build a strong foundation for every medium, small and start-up company and non-profit everywhere.”

These investments will be rolled out in a four-part strategy designed to create long-term benefits for the state’s economy and job market.

Investing in cloud and AI infrastructure

First, Microsoft will invest US$3.3B between now and the end of 2026 to expand its national cloud and AI infrastructure capacity through the development of a state-of-the-art data centre campus in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin. The project is expected to bring an influx of 2,300 union construction jobs to the area by 2025, as well as providing long-term employment opportunities over the next several years.

This new infrastructure will help enable companies in Wisconsin and across the country to develop, deploy and use the world’s most advanced cloud services and AI applications to grow, modernise and improve their products and enterprises.

Along with building a physical data centre, Microsoft will partner with Gateway Technical College to build a Data Center Academy to train and certify more than 1,000 students in five years to work in the new data centre and IT sector jobs created in the area.

Investing in the environment

Mindful that the expansion of its business must be done in a manner consistent with protecting the environment and expanding affordable energy access for everyone, Microsoft has partnered with National Grid to build a new 250MW solar project in Wisconsin that will begin operating in 2027.

This additional solar power means that by 2027, Microsoft will exceed 4,000MW of flowing into the local grid – an amount of power equivalent to what’s needed to power more than three million homes. As part of this work, Microsoft and National Grid will jointly contribute US$20 million over the term of the agreement to a community fund to support under-resourced communities and communities disproportionately impacted by pollution.   

The new data centre will use recycled water by employing a closed loop cooling system that does not require any additional water after start-up. This is a major step towards sustainability and responsible resource management.

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