Mark Zuckerberg promotes Facebook’s Los Lunas data center expansion

By Rachel Sapin/Reporter/Albuquerque Business First

Facebook officials project 1,000 construction workers will be on site daily at the peak of construction. (Photo courtesy Facebook)

 

Facebook officials announced early Tuesday the company’s future New Mexico data center is expanding to include a second 460,000-square-foot building — bringing the center’s total square footage to 980,000.

“Building one will be live and serving traffic in late 2018, and now with a second building, we expect to keep construction crews busy until 2020,” said KC Timmons, a data center operations official with Facebook’s West Region, in a statement. “At peak, we project 1,000 construction workers will be on site daily. This expansion will also add additional full-time employees.”

Since October of last year, New Mexico’s Facebook data center has seen an average of 150 workers on site every day, Timmons stated.

A rendering of the Facebook data center in Los Lunas that is expanding to include a second 460,000-square-foot building. It will bring the center’s total square footage to 980,000. (Rendering courtesy Facebook)

Facebook made the announcement last September that it had chosen New Mexico over Utah to build the company’s seventh data center.

Timmons said the second building will also be powered by 100 percent renewable energy, the same as Facebook’s first building currently under construction. In July, Albuquerque-based Affordable Solar started construction of three solar farms to meet the green energy needs of the data center’s first building set to open next year.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez also announced Tuesday that Facebook will double its investment in the data center, bringing the project’s cost to nearly half a billion dollars. According to Martinez, the second building will bring another $250 million to the project, on top of Facebook’s initial investment of $250 million. The governor’s office said the project now could support 100 full-time operational jobs, doubling the 50 that were originally estimated.

Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook: Today we’re expanding our data center in Los Lunas, New Mexico — bringing the site to almost 1 million square feet. This is one of the most advanced and energy efficient data centers in the world. To protect the environment, all new data centers we build are powered by 100% renewable energy.

“This is exciting news for New Mexico,” Martinez said in a statement. “We’re proud to have a cutting-edge high-tech company like Facebook as a partner as we move forward in diversifying New Mexico’s economy.”

Tom Furlong, vice president of infrastructure at Facebook, said the company is grateful to Martinez for her support.

“We continue to find a strong pool of talent to build our data center, and we’re excited that construction crews will be working on the site for years to come,” he said.

New Mexico union leaders and contractors recently spoke with Business First about the hiring shortage caused by Facebook‘s data center project, and why that’s a good thing. Business First also compared New Mexico’s Facebook data center to others around the U.S. to see how it stacks up.

The expansion is part of the New Mexico data center’s second phase, according to Facebook spokeswoman Lindsay Amos. The company said there could be six total phases for expansion in Los Lunas.

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