0 In Data Centers/ Green

News Break: Facebook to Triple the Size of its Los Lunas Data Center Campus in $1b Investment

17 November 2017
Facebook Los Lunas Data Center

Facebook Adds Nearly 2 Million Square Feet to Los Lunas Data Center to Expand its Six-Building Campus.

Facebook has announced plans to invest more than $1 billion in tripling the size of its data center campus in New Mexico.

The social media giant already has two Los Lunas buildings under construction and now plans to build four more buildings, spanning 2.8 million square feet.

Facebook first broke ground on the once barren desert site in October last year, with the latest expansion plans tipped to take construction well into 2023.

The much-needed investment will continue to support and diversify New Mexico’s local economy which has been suffering under a downturn in the oil and natural gas sectors.

A recent “stress test” published by Moody’s Analytics last month indicated that New Mexico’s cash-strapped government would not survive another recession.

The last few years of budget shortfalls has led to legislators draining reserves and cash, leaving the state vulnerable with just 1.1 percent of its budget set aside in reserves, a far cry from the 17.1 percent Moody’s calculates it would need to handle a severe recession.

For this reason, New Mexico desperately needed to win the bidding war for the Facebook campus which is expected to have a $2 billion impact to the state and metro area.

The labor needs of the data center campus are considerable, attracting nearly 800 workers every day, with 80% being residents of New Mexico.

Whilst the state was celebrating the win over Utah, who was also vying heavily for the contract, it wasn’t without significant compromise.

Los Lunas’ government opted to exchange $10 million in property taxes over the next 30 years for a $50,000 annual payment. The government bid vigorously, also promising $30 billion in industrial revenue bonds and other economic development funding.

Nevertheless, tens of millions of dollars are expected from tax revenue from construction alone, the state’s high unemployment rate will see a much-needed reduction and Facebook’s commitment to the region will prove to be valuable leverage for attracting further investment.

The first of the six-building campus is set to go live in 2018, with Facebook’s head of Data Center Operations for the West Region, K.C. Timmons, stating that “…the Los Lunas facility will be one of the most advanced, energy-efficient centers in the world.

It will have the latest in server, storage and network designs and an evaporative cooling system capable of protecting the servers inside from New Mexico’s frequent dust storms.”

The Los Lunas campus is Facebook’s seventh data center worldwide and its fifth in the United States. The campus will be powered by 100% clean and renewable energy with a 30-megawatt solar generation project currently being installed by two Albuquerque companies.

Facebook worked with the Public Service Company of New Mexico to design and implement a new renewable energy tariff known as “Green Energy Rider”. The tariff will give not only Facebook, but other large companies, access to 100% renewable energy sourced from new wind and solar farms; a move that will be well received given New Mexico’s regulated market which binds customers to a designated utility company in their area.

To find out more about the world’s greenest telcos and tech companies, read our latest blog post on the EPA’s Green Tech & Telecoms Index. Alternatively, find out more about Albuquerque’s data center market or check out the 2,200+ data centers in the United States on Cloudscene.

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