Facebook announces new data center in Eagle Mountain

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Government officials and representatives of Facebook pose with shovels following the announcement that Facebook will build a data center in Eagle Mountain, Utah. (Photo courtesy of Eagle Mountain)

Facebook is building a data center in Eagle Mountain, announced Eagle Mountain City together with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) and the Economic Development Corporation of Utah (EDCUtah) Wednesday morning.

The 970,000 square foot data center will be built at the Sweetwater Industrial Park in Eagle Mountain.

“After a thorough search, we selected Eagle Mountain for a number of reasons — it provides good access to renewable energy, a strong talent pool and a great set of partners,” said Rachel Peterson, VP of Data Center Strategy at Facebook.

With $100 million in infrastructure, Facebook’s investment includes a new electrical substation that will bring 1,000 megawatts of new power delivery capacity to the region to support additional economic development in Eagle Mountain and the surrounding area. The data center would be powered by 100 percent, net-new renewable energy through utilization of Rocky Mountain Power’s available renewable energy tariffs. Facebook will purchase its own water rights and construct the required water infrastructure. The data center facility is designed to be incredibly water-efficient and will reuse water multiple times.

Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert pitched to Facebook to have the major corporation come to Utah more than a year ago. In his comments Wednesday morning, Herbert joked that the process of getting Facebook to come to Utah was a steeplechase of an effort with plenty of hurdles and pitfalls along the way.

“It’s good to see things happening that aren’t on the I-15 corridor,” Herbert said.

A rendering of the Facebook data center being built in Eagle Mountain.

In its first phase, the data center would increase property tax currently collected for the 490-acre site by 12,000 times. City officials believe that the project, which represents $750 million investment in Eagle Mountain, will benefit more than the city — the benefits will extend to Utah County, Alpine School District, Central Utah Water Conservancy District and Unified Fire Service Area.

“This is obviously a historic moment for Eagle Mountain. This is going to make a big positive impact on our community,” said Eagle Mountain Mayor Tom Westmoreland.

Eagle Mountain is a young Utah County city, only being established 22 years ago. Westmoreland says Eagle Mountain is geographically the third largest city in Utah, which means there is a lot of undeveloped land.

“We have a rare opportunity here to plan a city nearly from the ground up,” Westmoreland said.

Rep. Mia Love mentioned that Facebook coming to Utah will also help gain the attention of other companies considering putting roots in the state.

The Facebook data center is expected to employ 30–50 people full time, with potential for more contract workers.

Construction on the Facebook data center will begin immediately. The data center is expected to come online in 2020.

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Rebecca Lane

While her first language is sarcasm, Rebecca dabbles in English and Russian to achieve her lifelong dream of being a journalist. A BYU sports fan, reading enthusiast and wannabe world traveler, Rebecca is a Colorado transplant that is convinced Colorado's mountains are much larger than the many Utah County peaks. Rebecca manages UtahValley360.com for Bennett Communications. Follow her on Twitter @rebeccalane.

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