Facebook announced today it will build a $800 million solar-powered data center on the old GM proving grounds in Mesa.
According to Facebook, the data center will be powered completely by solar power. It will also add 450 megawatts per year to the city’s solar grid.
The massive data center will bring around 100 high-paying jobs to Arizona, and Facebook claims it will look for local talent first.
Unsurprisingly, Arizona city and state leaders are thrilled, especially about Facebook’s commitment to increasing sustainability here. In addition to contributing back to the solar grid, the company has invested in water conservation projects that it claims will restore over 200 million gallons of water to the Colorado River Basin annually.
Sandra Watson, president of the Arizona Commerce Authority, said in Facebook’s video announcement that she’s excited for Facebook to partner with Arizona in becoming more sustainable and help the state stay “ahead of the curve.” And Kelly Barr, chief strategy officer of corporate services and sustainability at SRP, said that Facebook has been a “pleasure” to work with on this front.
The new Facebook data center will be the company’s first in Arizona, but it won’t be the first data center in Mesa. There’s an Apple data center nearby and at least five others scattered throughout the city. Mesa Mayor John Giles said this is just more evidence that Mesa is an exciting place to be.
Giles said in the video announcement that he anticipates this data center will help further revitalize downtown Mesa, which has struggled in recent years.
“What our downtown needs is people,” said Giles. “With data centers like this, these are high quality jobs. When people live, work and play down here, then it’s a very sustainable downtown.”