Facebook to Build Data Center in Clean Energy-Friendly Nebraska

New renewable energy tariff makes renewable energy sourcing easier in the state

Karen Riccio

April 4, 2017

2 Min Read
An employee walks past servers in the Facebook data center in Forest City, North Carolina.
An employee walks past servers in the Facebook data center in Forest City, North Carolina. (Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)

The next Facebook data center will be built in Papillon, Nebraska, something the social media giant said it couldn’t do without a new renewable energy tariff program designed with the help of the Omaha Public Power District. The company announced the project Tuesday, but local news reports revealed the social network was behind a data center project in progress earlier this year.

The renewable energy tariff will allow Facebook—and any other company eyeing the state to build data centers—to source 100 percent of its electricity from renewable resources through a fixed rate. The new program gives Facebook access to Nebraska’s huge network of wind farms. The state is ranked fourth in wind energy resources in the nation, according to the American Wind Energy Association, with 539 operational utility–scale wind turbines with a total capacity of over 900 MW.

In addition to the tariff program, Nebraska offers a comprehensive multi-tier tax abatement and credit structure.

See also: How to Get a Data Center Job at Facebook

The upcoming Facebook data center will join the social network’s others in Prineville, Oregon; Forest City, North Carolina; Altoona, Iowa; and Lulea, Sweden. It also has data centers under construction in Fort Worth, Texas; Los Lunas, New Mexico; Clonee, Ireland; and Odense, Denmark.

“Our Papillion data center will be one of the most advanced, energy-efficient data centers in the world, and it will feature the latest in our Open Compute Project hardware designs that result in world-class levels of energy efficiency,” Tom Furlong, Facebook's VP of infrastructure, said in a statement. “It will also be cooled using outdoor air and direct evaporative cooling systems that emphasize water and energy efficiency.”

Details about the exact location, size, and potential capacity of the future Facebook data center in Nebraska were not released.

See also: The Facebook Data Center FAQ

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