An architectural rendering of Apple’s planned data center in Waukee. The rendering was released in 2017.

Apple Inc. is delaying construction of its $1.3 billion data center in Waukee, with completion now slated for 2027, seven years past when the massive project was originally scheduled to be completed, according to a letter filed with the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

The project is being delayed because of the “additional time needed to design and construct” the data center, Terry Ryan, senior tax director for Apple, wrote in a Dec. 12 letter to the state. Construction is now expected to be completed by Aug. 31, 2027, rather than 2020, as the company had stated in its 2017 announcement about the project.

The 400,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art data center is planned on about 2,000 acres near the intersection of Hickman Road and S Avenue in Waukee. Apple said the center would create the equivalent of 50 full-time jobs. The construction is expected to create more than 550 construction and operations jobs in the Des Moines area, Apple said in its initial news release.

In 2017, Iowa’s Economic Development Authority awarded the tech giant $19.65 million in tax incentives.  

On Friday, the state agency’s board, without comment, approved extension of the project’s completion date.

Since 2017, Apple has invested more than $130 million toward the development of the Waukee data center, Ryan wrote to the state. In addition, Apple has provided $500,000 for improvement projects at Waukee’s Youth Sports Complex and $1 million to the Waukee Betterment Foundations for accessible sports fields and playgrounds at the complex.

Apple, the developer of products such as the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch, operates five data centers in the United States, all of which are powered by electricity that comes from renewable sources including solar, wind, biogas fuel cells and low-impact hydro power, according to the company’s Environmental Responsibility Report.

A data center under construction in Viborg, Denmark, will run on renewable energy. Apple has a contract with wind and solar projects in Denmark that will power the data center, the report said.

The Waukee data center facility also will be powered by renewable energy, according to the company’s August 2017 new release. The company, in its original news release, noted it would be working with “local partners to invest in renewable energy projects from wind and other sources to power the data center.”

Apple officials did not say why construction of the Waukee data center is taking longer to complete than originally planned. However, Summer Evans, Waukee’s spokeswoman, told the Business Record that “projects of this magnitude take time to establish.”

Waukee officials are not concerned by the delay in construction, Evans wrote in an email. Apple “has been a great partner to Waukee thus far, and we look forward to working with them as their project moves forward.”

The Waukee City Council, in an agreement with Apple in 2017, approved 71% tax abatement over 20 years totaling more than $188 million in tax rebates. Apple will only be eligible for the abatement upon completion of the first two data center buildings and after they pay property tax payments.