IL: Facebook to Build $800M Data Center in DeKalb, Creating 100 Jobs

2 Jul, 2020

The Chicago Tribune reports that Facebook plans to build an $800 million data center in DeKalb, Ill., that will rely solely on renewable energy and create about 100 jobs.
The data center, on a 505-acre site, will create about 100 jobs. It also will use 80% less water than other data centers, the company said.
The Facebook-owned land can accommodate five buildings, and two will be completed by 2022. “As time progresses, we will decide if it makes sense for us to continue to expand,” Rachel Peterson, vice president of data center strategy for Facebook, to the Chicago Tribune.
It will be Facebook’s first data center in Illinois. The company has 15 others globally. The 100 employees will include technicians, engineers, construction management, facilities management, logistic professionals and security personnel, Facebook said.
Facebook pledged in 2018 to powering its facilities with 100% renewable energy by the end of 2020. Specifics on what kind of renewable energy will be used in DeKalb are under development, Peterson said.
In 2019, Illinois lawmakers approved a data center tax incentive to attract technology companies and other firms to build their data storage facilities in the state, the publication reported. Among other requirements, companies must invest at least $250 million in a facility and hire at least 20 full-time employees over five years to qualify for the program.
Facebook has not applied for the state’s incentive program, Peterson said.
The Chicago area ranked third last year in the U.S. for data center capacity, according to a report paid for by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Foundation and several data center owners and operators.