Facebook’s latest data center will be located in a small village in Ireland called Clonee. On Sunday, the social networking giant announced that the new facility will be spread over a 227-acre area and will be completely reliant on renewable energy: wind, to be specific.
Completely reliant on renewable energy
In a blog post, Facebook vice president Tom Furlong said that by late 2017 or early 2018, the new data center will be used for handling Web traffic and the company’s own computing needs. Similar to Facebook’s other data centers, the Clonee one will contain servers, storage and networking gear designed by its engineers.
“Clonee will be packed full of cutting-edge technology, making it one of the most advanced, efficient and sustainable data centers in the world,” Furlong reported in the blog post.
According to the local Meath County Council, less than 10,000 people reside in Clonee and Dunboyne, and therefore, it won’t affect locals very much, unlike those in the city of Dublin 10 miles away. This data center facility will be the sixth for Facebook. In July, the company confirmed plans to build a data center in Fort Worth, Tex. Furlong has not mentioned the price of the new Ireland facility, but according to local filings, the Fort Worth site could cost the company $1 billion. The original site is in Prineville, Ore., while others include Altoona, Lowa; Forest City, N.C. and Lulea, Sweden.
For Facebook, European push makes more sense
Many modern Web apps, such as Airbnb and Snapchat, make use of cloud infrastructure, but Facebook, like Google, plans to build data centers of its own to run its applications for maximizing efficiency. These data centers could be called major capital-intensive projects.
Rumors of Facebook planning to build a data center in Asia have been doing the rounds since late 2013. The most recent round of rumors had a Taiwanese site as their subject. The U.S. firm has had its international headquarters in Ireland since 2009 and is working on expanding its presence in Europe, specifically Ireland.
Considering Facebook’s financial track record internationally, it makes more sense for it to expand its infrastructure in Europe rather than Asia. In 2014, the U.S. firm generated revenue worth $3.13 billion in Europe, compared to $1.74 billion in Asia Pacific.