Elon Musk does a U-turn on Sacramento data centers

Tesla taking one from Twitter despite Musk’s derisive comments

Elon Musk and a data center
Elon Musk and a data center (Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty)

Twitter may have to slap another fact-check on Elon Musk — or at least contextualize how one should watch what he does, not listen to what he says.

After blasting Sacramento as “possibly the worst place to have a data center,” Musk must have decided the hot temperatures in California’s state capital weren’t so bad. Tesla signed a lease with NTT Data to replace Twitter at a data center in the city, The Information reported.

It’s not clear if Musk scored a deal at the data center by replacing one of his companies as a tenant with another, though it’s worth noting that Tesla is taking more than just the Twitter space there. 

The electric vehicle marker plans to use the property for machine learning and artificial intelligence projects. It is conveniently located a couple of hours each from a pair of Tesla factories.

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It’s also unclear if badmouthing the city’s data center was a negotiating ploy.

Twitter left the data center at the end of last year, months after it went down due to extreme heat in the region. The exit of Twitter at the site likely had less to do with the incident, however, and more to do with the expiration of Twitter’s lease in December; Musk has been looking to cut costs since his $44 billion deal to buy the social media giant.

Musk’s move at the NTT data center doesn’t appear to be a one off, either. Tesla is also eyeing subleasing a second data center in the city from Twitter at a facility run by Prime Data Centers. Twitter’s lease at that facility is ongoing, but the company no longer uses the site.

Tesla has another data center in Phoenix, but restricted its activity in Sacramento to sales, service and delivery prior to the latest lease, as well as operations for its energy business. Twitter will maintain data centers in Atlanta and Portland, though Musk has previously suggested Twitter’s capacity at the former could be reduced, too.
Holden Walter-Warner

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