Facebook revealed on Wednesday that it plans to open a data center in Los Lunas, New Mexico. The seventh such facility is expected to go online in late 2018. The company wasn’t forthcoming with specifics about the data center, but it will be equipped with “the latest [Open Compute Project] computers, storage, and network technologies” while also being powered by 100 percent renewable energy.
When the Los Lunas facility opens, it will join other data centers that Facebook has opened over the years, including Clonee, Ireland (which should open by late 2017 or early 2018); Fort Worth, Texas; Altoona, Iowa; Forest City, North Carolina; Luleå, Sweden; and the original site in Prineville, Oregon.
Although the company didn’t specify how much the data center would cost, the Alburquerque Business First reported that it will be a multibillion-dollar project and that it was a competitive race to have Los Lunas selected — besides New Mexico, Utah was also considered, but it’s likely that site wasn’t chosen due to a heavy amount of public criticism.
Ken Patchett, Facebook’s director of data center operations in the western region, wrote in a post that the Los Lunas facility will be “one of the most advanced, energy-efficient data centers in the world” and that the company is teaming with PNM Resources to leverage New Mexico’s solar and wind energy to power the data center. “By powering our data center with renewable energy versus natural gas, we also reduce the water usage associated with the data center by 30 percent,” he said. “The new solar and wind farms also bring additional jobs and investments to the region.”
It’s expected that the data center project will create hundreds of new construction jobs along with dozens of long-term operations jobs.