REPORT: Facebook To Build $1.5B Data Center In Altoona, Iowa

Facebook plans to build a $1.5 billion data center in Altoona, Iowa, joining its existing facilities in Prineville, Ore.; Forest City, N.C.; and Luleå, Sweden, the Des Moines Register reported.

Facebook plans to build a $1.5 billion data center in Altoona, Iowa, joining its existing facilities in Prineville, Ore.; Forest City, N.C.; and Luleå, Sweden, the Des Moines Register reported.

According to the Register, the Iowa Economic Development Authority Board and Altoona City Council will consider incentives for the project Tuesday, and a separate request for wind energy production tax credits, which would require legislative action, is tied to the project.

Altoona is already home to the LightEdge data center, which was built in 2006, and the Enseva data center will break ground this spring, the Register reported, adding that the city is an ideal location for such facilities due to:

  • Access to an extensive interstate fiber optic cable system, which is already installed within the city and running along Interstate 80.
  • Proximity to adequate power and water utilities, with a large MidAmerican substation located less than a half-mile from the 200-acre site.
  • Open and affordable land with low natural disaster risks.
  • Location near the crossroads of Interstates 80 and 35 and U.S. Highway 65.

Elsewhere in Iowa, Google has invested $1.1 billion in data centers in Council Bluffs, and Microsoft operates a large center in West Des Moines with at least $100 million invested, according to the Register, which added that Nebraska was also competing to land the new Facebook data center.

Data Center Knowledge reported that the city of Kearney, Neb., approved the expenditure of $1.7 million to acquire land for the proposed data center.

The Register reported that Altoona modified its water ordinance during the past two months in order to accommodate the facility, and the city approved a new, expanded site plan covering 1.4 million square feet among three buildings on a 200-acre lot. Altoona City Planner Chad Quick told the newspaper the property has access to a 16-inch water line, and the city plans to add a 12-inch water main, adding:

I think their biggest thing is, it’s close to water, it’s close to power, and it’s close to fiber.