By Tudor Scolca
The social media giant has set its sights on Newton County, Ga., for its ninth data center in the United States. The company plans to invest approximately $750 million at the Stanton Springs site over the next five years. At least 100 full-time jobs in engineering, management as well as positions for data center technicians are expected to be created once the development is complete, in 2020.
The Newton data center will be situated within the Stanton Springs industrial park, which is adjacent to Interstate 20 and a half an hour’s drive from Atlanta. Facebook’s new facility will comprise two buildings, occupying a total of 970,000 square feet. Company representatives stated that growing demand for more immersive content, such as virtual reality and 360-degree videos, justifies the expansion of its data handling capabilities.
The Newton County data center will be powered by 100 percent clean and renewable energy. For cooling, the center will use outdoor air instead of traditional, energy-consuming air conditioning systems. Hundreds of construction and trade jobs are estimated to be created, as work on Facebook’s data center is set to begin promptly.
Making an impact
Facebook entered a partnership with Walton Electric Membership Corp. to facilitate the distribution of some hundreds megawatts of renewable energy into the area’s electrical grid. This resulted in millions of dollars invested in solar resources, while also providing reliable energy sources to the nearby area. Facebook has selected Atlanta-based Holden Construction Co. as the general contractor for the project.
“As a company, Facebook is committed to creating positive impact at the local level—that means hiring, partnering and investing locally. We are thrilled to be making Georgia our new home and look forward to a long and strong partnership with the state, Newton County and our new community,” said Rachel Peterson, vice president of data center strategy at Facebook, in a prepared statement.
The Stanton Springs industrial park is a 1,620-acre master-planned property situated at the border of Newton, Morgan and Walton counties. It is owned and managed by a partnership between TPA Group and the Joint Development Authority of Jasper, Morgan, Newton and Walton counties. The park is currently home to Baxalta/Shire, which constructed a 1 million-square-foot advanced manufacturing facility, and the 40,000-square-foot Georgia BioScience Training Center.
The Newton data center will be Facebook’s 12th global facility. The social media company recently began working on a 1.8 million-square-foot expansion to its Los Lunas data center in New Mexico, bringing the total development cost to $1 billion.
Image courtesy of Facebook