In pursuit of renewable energy access - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Industrial, Sourcing Renewables  -  September 16, 2016

Facebook unveils site for efficient new data center

Facebook Inc. has decided on Los Lunas, N.M., as the location for its newest data center, which it plans to run entirely on clean energy. 

The social media and networking company announced its choice —it had also been considering a location in Utah — on Sept. 14. Regulators and politicians in New Mexico and Utah had reportedly been working for months to woo Facebook through special renewable energy contracts. 

Facebook said Sept. 14 it considered three main elements in its decision for a location:  "great partnerships with the local community, a strong pool of local talent for construction and long-term operations staff, and access to clean and renewable energy." The company expects to break ground on the facility in October. 

The company said the Los Lunas data center will be one of the most advanced, energy-efficient data centers in the world and utilize indirect, evaporate cooling systems that emphasize efficiency and offer protection from New Mexico's frequent dust storms. Facebook also highlighted its arrangements with the facility's utility company to run on renewable energy:

The data center will also be powered by 100% clean and renewable energy, thanks to the new solar and wind energy that we're working with PNM Resources to bring to the New Mexico grid. By powering our data center with renewable energy versus natural gas, we also reduce the water usage associated with the data center by 30%. The new solar and wind farms also bring additional jobs and investments to the region.

The data center is expected support thousands of new construction jobs, dozens of long-term operations jobs and generate hundreds of millions of dollars in new investments to New Mexico, Facebook said. 

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