Facebook announces plans for new data center in New Albany


NEW ALBANY, Ohio – Facebook plans to invest $750 million in a new data center in central Ohio, marking another boost for the Midwest state's growing technology sector.

The world's biggest social media company announced Tuesday that its 10th data center will be on a 345-acre site in New Albany, just northeast of Columbus.

The center will be completed in 2019 and create 100 permanent jobs. Construction will spur 1,000 jobs.

The 900,000-square-foot facility will be powered exclusively with renewable energy.

Rachel Peterson, the company's director of data center strategy and development, said several factors attracted Facebook to the location, including fiber and power infrastructure, government support, livability and the availability of high-tech talent.

"We look at that community fit and how we're going to live and work in a community," she said. "We not only live there, we work there, too. We hire there locally. So we want to make sure there's a strong fit."

She said the availability of renewable energy sources, including wind, solar and hydro, was critical to the decision — a factor underlined by Kasich, who has pushed back against legislative efforts to turn back the state's alternative energy requirements.

"It is critical that we continue developing the renewables, because, believe me, at the end of the day, if the Facebooks and the Googles and the PayPals and the Amazons think that we are not committed to renewable energy, they will not come here. Period, end of story," he said.

New Albany is currently home to data centers for American Electric Power, Abercrombie & Fitch and Amazon. The Facebook data center will be the city’s largest.

Republican Gov. John Kasich and other dignitaries were on hand to celebrate the announcement.

Facebook has been adding data centers in the U.S. and internationally to handle the growing number of photos, videos and additional digital content from its 2 billion users.

E-commerce giant Amazon launched three cloud-computing data center sites in Ohio last year.

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