Facebook to build $800M data center in metro Phoenix

Facebook to build $800M data center in metro Phoenix
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Facebook announced Thursday that it will invest $800 million to build a data center in Mesa, Ariz., the company's first in the state. 

The facility, which will operate largely by solar power, is set to be completed in about two years and will house routers, switches, servers, storage systems and other equipment, according to the Arizona Republic.

In addition, Facebook said the new building will use 60 percent less water than the average data center, according to The Associated Press

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A spokesperson for the tech giant, Melanie Roe said that construction is starting now and will last a couple of years, according to the Republic. The facility, when fully functioning, will employ culinary staff, engineers, security and technicians among other workers.  

Rachel Petersen, Facebook's vice president of infrastructure, said the social media platform selected Mesa to house the new data center based on available talent, infrastructure, renewable energy development and support from state and local authorities. In a study by Business Facilities, Phoenix ranked third among U.S. cities for data centers, behind Northern Virginia and Chicago.

Mesa is just outside of Phoenix. 

Although Facebook said it plans to implement efficient water use in the Arizona facility, the amount of water needed in the data center is still a concern in a state that experiences drought conditions.

The company said they will not obtain water rights from the city of Mesa, the Republic reports. Facebook said in the announcement that they have invested in three Arizona projects that will restore more than 200 million gallons of water a year into the Colorado River and Salt River basins, the Republic reports. 

The news comes as several other major tech companies including Apple, Google and Edgecore have chosen the area to develop data centers. 

The Republic noted that the Mesa City Council voted 6-1 to allow Facebook to build a new data center in the area. Though at the time, the name of the company was not disclosed. Facebook is not receiving financial incentives for the development, a city spokesperson confirmed to the outlet. 

“Facebook joins other tech giants in making the wise decision to locate in Mesa’s Elliot Road Tech Corridor,” Mesa Mayor John Giles said, according to the Republican.