Facebook reveals NM data center expansion plans
Facebook is planning to expand a data center currently under construction near Albuquerque, NM, doubling its investment in the project and expanding it to a size equal to 17 football fields, according to the Associated Press via ABC News.
The first building at the Los Lunas, NM, is scheduled for completion late next year; the second building is expected to be finished in 2020. Officials estimate that construction will generate $75 million in gross-receipts tax revenue in the next decade.
Los Lunas is giving Facebook a 30-year pass on property taxes in exchange for annual payments from $50,000 to almost $500,000. The state has reportedly said it will provide billions in economic development funding. The state and Facebook also created a renewable energy tariff that will permit Facebook to run the data center on solar and wind power.
Facebook has either completed expansions or is underway with them in several areas of the country. Menlo Park, CA, where the company is headquartered, has seen the most activity this year.
In exchange for zoning changes, development rights and permission to build as tall as it wants for a 1.1-million-square-foot expansion of its headquarters, Facebook promised to provide a host of community benefits. Those include: $430,000 in rent subsidies for community workers like police officers and teachers; $6.3 million for affordable housing; $300,000 annually to the city of Menlo Park for 20 years; guaranteed hotel taxes of more than $1 million each year; and $100,000 per year for at least 10 years in scholarships for local students.
Earlier this month, Facebook announced plans to build a mixed-use "village" near its headquarters. The company said the project will provide housing and other services to its employees and the public. Some of the features of the planned Willow Campus include 1.75 million square feet of office space, 1,500 residences, 125,000 square feet of retail and a cultural and visitor center.
The social media giant has data centers worldwide. Data centers carry huge energy loads, so to make those projects more efficient, Facebook in 2011 launched the Open Compute Project. Its goal is to make the buildings and the hardware inside them perform better. In the case of the Los Lunas project, efficiency includes renewable power sources and an evaporative cooling system to help protect servers from the dusty area climate.
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