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Facebook inaugurates new wind-driven data centre in Fort Worth, Texas

Wed 8 Jul 2015

Facebook has announced the beginning of construction on its fifth data centre in the United States, at Fort Worth in Texas, touting the new installation as ‘one of the most advanced, efficient, and sustainable data centers in the world’. Despite the arid location the Fort Worth data centre will be cooled by outdoor air, as part of a carbon-efficient design which will utilise 100% renewable energy and 200MW of wind turbine energy.

Facebook’s western Director of Data Center Operations Ken Patchett said in an announcement on the data centre’s Facebook page that construction on Fort Worth has already begun, with associate companies Citigroup Energy, Starwood Energy Group and Alterra Power beginning work on the wind-harvesting infrastructure on a 17,000-acre stretch in Clay County, approximately 90 miles from the new centre’s location.

Facebook’s vice president of infrastructure Tom Furlong commented of the new project “Thanks to our continued focus on efficiency and our investments in renewables in recent years, the carbon impact of one person’s use of Facebook for an entire year is the same as the carbon impact of a medium latte,”

The DC site itself covers 110 acres of land purchased out of the 18,000 acres encompassed by Ross Perot Jr.’s Alliance development at Hillwood. In keeping with other installations at Lulea, Altoona, Forest City and Prineville, the designs for the new centre will be available via Facebook’s Open Compute project.

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Texas Governor Greg Abbott attended the inauguration of Facebook’s Fort Worth centre, commenting: “Facebook’s mission is to ‘connect the world.’ With locations in Austin, Dallas, and now the new data center in Fort Worth, those connections are made right here in the heart of Texas…When it comes to doing business, there really is no place like Texas, and we are excited to break new ground with Facebook,”

The installation will employ 40 full time staff at least, and is scheduled to open in 2016. Capital costs for the project over the next five years are estimated at $500mn (approx. £325mn).

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