Facebook to Build $800 Million Data Center in Arizona

By Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Reporter
Tom Ozimek has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education. The best writing advice he's ever heard is from Roy Peter Clark: 'Hit your target' and 'leave the best for last.'
August 13, 2021 Updated: August 13, 2021

Facebook has announced plans to build an $800 million data center in Arizona, which is expected to support 100 operational jobs once complete and around 1,500 construction jobs at peak.

“We are breaking ground on our newest data center in Mesa,” Facebook announced in a social media post. “This facility will be an important part of the global infrastructure that brings Facebook apps and services to billions of people around the world.”

The Facebook Mesa Data Center, the company’s 14th data center development in the United States and 18th globally, will encompass nearly 1 million square feet, according to DPR Construction, which is currently building three other similar facilities for the social media giant.

“Arizona has become one of the leading destinations for data centers anywhere in the world, and with the addition of @Facebook, we demonstrate once again our premier attractiveness for technology,” said Sandra Watson, President and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority, in a tweet.

As part of the project, Facebook said it plans to restore over 200 million gallons of water per year in the Colorado River and Salt River basins as part of its intention for the data center to restore more water than its operations will consume.

“Together with the Salt River Project, we’ll bring three new solar projects, totaling 450 megawatts, to the local grid, making this data center supported by 100 [percent] renewable energy. We commit to restoring more water than we use and to investing in the long-term vitality of Mesa!” Facebook said in a post.

Mesa’s City Council approved Facebook’s data project in May on a 6–1 vote, with Vice Mayor Jenn Duff voting against, citing concerns about water use during a drought, according to AZ Central.

According to the Arizona Commerce Authority, Facebook’s Mesa data center will use 60 percent less water than the average data center.

While Facebook isn’t a significant employer in Arizona, the company’s total headcount was 63,404 as of June 30 of this year, according to the company’s second-quarter results.

Facebook’s total revenue for the second quarter of 2021 came in at just over $29 billion, with a profit of around $10 billion, nearly double what it was in the comparable quarter in 2020.

The company spent $4.74 billion on capital expenditures in the second quarter, including payments on finance leases.

Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Reporter
Tom Ozimek has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education. The best writing advice he's ever heard is from Roy Peter Clark: 'Hit your target' and 'leave the best for last.'