Facebook has now formally announced that it is building a third data center in Prineville, which will be located in the desert in the middle of Oregon. Facebook has five such centers around the world, and this is the first the company has constructed from the ground up. The new data center could require an investment of up to $200 million.

Facebook Inc Officially Announces Third Data Center In Prineville

Biggest in Oregon

In a blog post on Tuesday, the director of data center operations for Facebook’s West Region, Ken Patchett, said, “Building 3 will feature the latest Open Compute Project hardware designs — including YosemiteWedge, and 6-pack — and, like our other buildings, will be cooled using our cool Central Oregon high desert air instead of energy-intensive air conditioners.” All three buildings are located in Prineville, Ore., and in addition, the company has a cold storage facility used for holding data accessed less frequently.

North Carolina, Iowa and Sweden are other locations where Facebook has data center sites. A fifth site has been chosen in Fort Worth, Tex., as confirmed by the social network in July. According to The Oregonian, the new facility in Prineville will be the biggest data center in Oregon to date and will be 40% larger than the second one built on the same site and almost three times the the size of the average Costco retail warehouse.

Facebook does not rely on cloud firms

It is a trend among modern tech companies to rent server and storage hardware from cloud storage providers such as Amazon Web Services in return for a fee. Very few Web companies have built their own buildings for holding their IT equipment. Like Facebook, Google also has its own equipment and, coincidentally, it is also planning to expand its data center site in Oregon.

Facebook’s announcement of the third data center in the state comes soon after Prineville city and Crook County officials approved a property tax break last week. The first data canter in Prineville is spread across 331,700 square feet, while the second one stretches across 366,000 square feet. The third and largest one will be spread on an area of 487,700 square feet, company spokesman Lee Weinstein said. Presently, Facebook employs around 147 people in its Prineville data centers, of whom 85% work in Prineville or Crook County, the company said.