How Facebook’s New Data Center In Altoona, Iowa, Will Be 100% Wind-Powered

By David Cohen 

WellsburgWindFarm650Renewable energy is in the wind at Facebook, as the social network announced that when its data center in Altoona, Iowa, begins serving traffic in early 2015, the facility will be fully powered by a new wind energy project in nearby Wellsburg.

Facebook said in a Newsroom post by Data Center Energy Manager Vincent Van Son that it began the project with local wind developer RPM Access, and then transferred its rights to local energy utility MidAmerican Energy, which will build, own, and operate the project.

The social network offered more details in the Newsroom post:

Construction is under way, and, once it’s completed in 2014, the project will add up to 138 megawatts of new renewable wind capacity to the grid in Iowa — more than what our data center is likely to require for the foreseeable future. And since our Altoona data center will be based on the latest Open Compute Project designs, we expect that it will join our data centers in Oregon, North Carolina, and Sweden as some of the most advanced, efficient, and sustainable data centers in the world.

When we settled on Altoona as the location for our fourth data center, one of the deciding factors was the opportunity to help develop a new wind project in the state. The project brings additional investment and jobs to the region, and, in effect, it makes it possible, on an annualized basis, for 100 percent of our energy needs to be met entirely with one of Iowa’s most abundant renewable resources. We are committed to reaching 25 percent clean and renewable energy in our global data-center mix in 2015, and we will continue to work with utilities and other partners on supply options for our other data centers.

Readers: Would you like to see more companies undertake similar renewable-energy initiatives?