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Facebook builds wind-powered datacentre in Texas

Social networking giant Facebook adds momentum to green datacentre trend with plans to power a datacentre in Texas with a 17,000-acre wind farm

Facebook is building a wind-powered datacentre in Fort Worth, Texas.

Facebook has joined forces with Citigroup Energy, Alterra Power Corporation and Starwood Energy Group to create a 17,000-acre wind farm 90 miles away from the datacentre to provide it with power.

This is expected to be up, running and contributing around 200MW of clean energy to the Texas electrical grid by 2016.

Ken Patchett, Facebook’s director of datacentre operations for the region, said easy access to renewable energy was one of several factors that contributed to its decision to site the facility in Fort Worth.

“We put a lot of effort into choosing where to locate a facility like this. There are lots 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,” he said.

“We are proud to be able to bring new jobs and investment to Texas. 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.”

The company revealed it will rely on fresh air cooling methods at the site, despite the average summer temperature of Texas hitting around 36°C.

Operator obligations

Facebook is one of a number of internet giants that have taken steps of late to talk up their commitments to building datacentres powered by renewable energy sources.

Facebook confirmed plans to build an environmentally friendly datacentre in Ireland in June 2015, where it said it plans to exploit the country’s temperate climate to keep the facility cool.

On the back of this trend, a recent report by Transparency Market Research suggested the global green datacentre market is set to grow in value from $25.87bn in 2014 to $221.49bn by 2022 at CAGR of 30.8%.

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