Facebook to build fifth data centre

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Facebook to build fifth data centre
Proposed design for Facebook's Fort Worth data centre

Will be powered by adjacent wind farm.

Facebook will invest more than US$500 million (A$675 million) to build a new data centre in Fort Worth, Texas, which will become its fourth in the United States and fifth overall.

The facility will employ at least 40 full-time employees and will be powered entirely by renewable energy, Tom Furlong, Facebook's vice president of infrastructure, wrote in a blog post.

The deal will see Facebook bring 200 megawatts of new wind energy to the Texas grid thanks to partnerships with Citigroup Energy, Alterra Power Corporation, and Starwood Energy Group.

Facebook won't own the wind farm once construction is complete - it will buy energy to power its data centre.

"200 MW is more energy than we will need for the foreseeable future, and we're proud to have played a role in bringing this project to Texas,"  Ken Patchett, Facebook's west region director of data centre operations wrote.

Construction of the wind farm is already under way on a 17,000 acre site 90 miles from the data centre, and Facebook expects it to begin delivering clean energy to the grid by 2016.

The company opened its first data centre in Prineville, Oregon, in 2011. It has other facilities in Altoona, Iowa, Forest City, North Carolina and Lulea, Sweden.

"We put a lot of effort into choosing where to locate a facility like this," Patchett wrote.

"Our Fort Worth facility will be one of the most advanced, efficient, and sustainable data centers in the world.

"It will feature the latest in our Open Compute Project hardware designs — including Yosemite, Wedge, and 6-pack — and it will be cooled using outdoor air instead of energy-intensive air conditioners. (Yes, we can make that work even in the middle of the kinds of summers we have here in Texas.)"

The company said its infrastructure efficiency efforts had helped it save more than US$2 billion in infrastructure costs over the last three years.

With Reuters

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