Hello, Fort Worth! [Alterra’s Shannon wind farm to supply power to new Facebook data center]

By Ken Patchett, Director of Data Center Operations, West Region, Facebook

We're thrilled to announce that we've started construction on our newest data center, right here in Fort Worth, Texas. Along with our Prineville, Forest City, Lulea, and Altoona data centers, Fort Worth will soon be one of the cornerstones of the global infrastructure that brings Facebook apps and services to you every day and is helping connect billions more people through Internet.org.

We put a lot of effort into choosing where to locate a facility like this. There are a lot of things we look for — everything from a shovel-ready site, to access to renewable energy, to great partnerships with the local community, to a strong pool of local talent for construction and long-term operations staff. We think we've found all that and more in Fort Worth, and we're excited to be getting started.

Our Fort Worth facility will be one of the most advanced, efficient, and sustainable data centers in the world. It will feature the latest in our Open Compute Project hardware designs — including Yosemite, Wedge, and 6-pack — and it will be cooled using outdoor air instead of energy-intensive air conditioners. (Yes, we can make that work even in the middle of the kinds of summers we have here in Texas.)

The Fort Worth data center will also be powered by 100% renewable energy, thanks to the 200 MW of new wind energy that we worked with Citigroup Energy, Alterra Power Corporation, and Starwood Energy Group to bring to the Texas grid. Construction on the project is already under way on a 17,000-acre site in Clay County, just 90 miles from the data center, and we expect it to begin delivering clean energy to the grid by 2016. 200 MW is more energy than we will need for the foreseeable future, and we're proud to have played a role in bringing this project to Texas.

The other thing we are proud to be able to bring to Texas are new jobs and investment. You can read more about the impact our data center investments have had so far in Oregon, North Carolina, and Sweden, but for us it goes beyond just economic impact. We are making our home here in Fort Worth, and we want to do what we can to help the city of Fort Worth, Tarrant County, and the state of Texas continue to thrive.

Thank you to those of you who have helped us get to this point. We are excited to be here!

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