data center

US-based social networking giant Facebook has broken ground on its new data centre in Fort Worth, Texas, which will derive power from renewable sources.

The centre will meet its energy requirements from a 200MW wind facility, which is being developed in Clay County.

The centre features Open Compute Project hardware. It will be the fifth facility for the company, the first four being in Altoona, Pennsylvania; Prineville, Oregon; Forest City, Ohio in the US, and Lulea in Sweden.

Facebook has started grading for the 110-acre property, on which the new facility will be constructed.

"The centre will meet its energy requirements from a 200MW wind facility."

First phase development of the centre is expected to be completed by late 2016.

Capital investment for the project is likely to be more than $500m within 5 years, which includes costs for building construction costs and data centre equipment.

Completion of the second phase is expected to increase the capital investments for the centre to up to $1bn.

Facebook west region data centre operations director Ken Patchett said: "Our Fort Worth facility will be one of the most advanced, efficient, and sustainable data centres 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."

Facebook Engineering vice president Jay Parikh said: "In 2012 we set a goal for ourselves to reach 25% renewables in our data centre mix by the end of this year.

"Over the long-term, we plan to get to 100%. We’ve set our next short-term goal to be 50% by the end of 2018."

Image: Artist’s impression of Facebook’s Fort Worth renewable energy powered data centre. Photo: courtesy of Facebook.