It’s Facebook-Official: The Tech Giant is Building a 4th Altoona Data Center

By Brice Towns, site manager, Altoona data center
Used with permission from the Altoona Data Center Facebook page.

We’re breaking new ground – again – at the Altoona data center. Today, we’re announcing work has begun on our fourth building at our 400-acre site.

This is our largest active construction site in our data center network of nine locations, and it’s happening right here in Altoona. Today, the third building and cold storage expansion are actively under construction, and now, we’re breaking ground on our fourth building.

With this new building, we add nearly one million square feet to our existing footprint — bringing the total square footage to more than 2.5 million. To get to this point, teams have invested more than 2.75 million hours into the construction of the site and have consistently met deadlines. We expect this expansion to keep the hundreds of workers on our construction crews busy until 2020, and at one point, we project 800 construction workers will be on site daily. Additionally, this expansion will add additional full-time employees to the more than 200 we already have on site.

In 2013, when we first announced the Altoona Data Center, we shared our plans to power our operations with clean and renewable energy; we did so by adding 138 MW of new renewable wind capacity to the grid from a nearby wind project in Wellsburg, Iowa. We continue to benefit from our initial investment in the wind project and our collaboration with MidAmerican Energy, and we’re thrilled to share that the Wellsburg wind farm and MidAmerican’s portfolio of 2,000 MW of wind projects in Iowa will power our four buildings with clean and renewable energy. We are one step closer to reaching our goal to power 50% of our data center operations in 2018 with clean and renewable energy.

For our 200 full-time employees, the Altoona area truly is home. The City of Altoona continues to be a great partner to Facebook, and we’re excited about the growth happening in the community — including new retail options, hotels, and restaurants, as well as our great school districts. And, over the past three years, we’ve enjoyed contributing to non-profit organizations in our communities through our Community Action Grant program and volunteering in the community. Altoona has so much to offer, and as always, we’re happy to call it our home.

Thank you to our employees, city and state officials, and the communities in which we live and work for moving fast with us as we continue to break new ground in Altoona.