When Facebook first announced their newest data center in Altoona, Iowa, they said that it would be among the "most advanced and energy efficient facilities of its kind.” Now, the company says that it will powered, in full, by a new wind project in nearby Wellsburg.
The project is being developed by MidAmerican Energy. Facebook first began work on the new wind project with the help of local wind developer RPM Access, but transferred the rights to MidAmerican earlier this year. If the name RPM Access sounds familiar, that's because Google invested $75 million in an RPMA-owned wind farm late last year.
When completed, the wind farm will add 138 MW of energy to Iowa's renewable grid. According to Facebook, this will power their new data center - and some.
"When we settled on Altoona as the location for our fourth data center, one of the deciding factors was the opportunity to help develop a new wind project in the state. The project brings additional investment and jobs to the region, and in effect it makes it possible, on an annualized basis, for 100% of our energy needs to be met entirely with one of Iowa’s most abundant renewable resources. We are committed to reaching 25% clean and renewable energy in our global data center mix in 2015, and we will continue to work with utilities and other partners on supply options for our other data centers."
Iowa generates more wind power (per percentage of total power) than any other state in the country, with 24.5% of its total power coming from wind. It trails only Texas and California in total MW generated.
The Altoona data center will be Facebook’s 4th, and 3rd in the United States. Facebook currently has data centers in Prineville, Oregon; Forest City, North Carolina; and Luleå, Sweden. Facebook says that it will begin serving traffic in 2015.
Image via Iowa Wind Energy Association, Facebook