Facebook to Build $750 Million Data Center in Virginia

Facebook data center
Facebook’s data center in Lulea, Sweden. Credit: Facebook

Facebook announced plans on Thursday to build a $750 million data center in Henrico County, Virginia powered entirely by renewable energy. The tech company also designed a new renewable energy tariff with Dominion Energy Virginia to help construct multiple solar facilities to the state.

The 970,000-square-foot data center will be located in the White Oak Technology Park, about 15 miles from Richmond. “The Henrico Data Center will be one of the most advanced, energy-efficient data centers in the world,” Facebook’s director of data center strategy Rachel Peterson said in a public post. Henrico is also going to house hardware designs from the company’s Open Compute Project, an initiative launched in 2011 to share data center specifications and best practices.

Cooling for the data center will come from outdoor air and direct evaporative cooling systems that emphasize water and energy efficiency, Peterson says.

Dominion Energy Virginia and Facebook worked together on a new renewable energy tariff called Schedule RF. “This new tariff allows large customers — not just Facebook — to acquire and pay for clean and renewable resources that will cover up to 100 percent of their energy usage,” Peterson’s post says.

In August, Facebook announced plans for its tenth US-based data center to be located in Ohio north of Columbus and powered entirely by renewables. That location was chosen for the availability of renewable energy sources. Last month the social media giant said it would start recycling heat from its data centers to warm nearby houses.

Facebook has already built data centers in Oregon, North Carolina, and Iowa, CNNMoney points out. New centers in Texas, New Mexico, and Ohio are currently under construction.

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