Your next Facebook post could be powered by the wind. Before Facebook broke ground on a new data center in Ft. Worth, Texas, the company first had to make sure there would be enough energy to run it.

Facebook data center in Ft. Worth

Weihl: “This will be a big data center site. Over time it will have multiple buildings, each several hundred thousand square feet, each consuming twenty to thirty megawatts of power.”

That’s Facebook director of sustainability Bill Weihl, who’s in charge of increasing the company’s energy efficiency and use of clean energy. According to Weihl, Facebook has long been interested in reducing its dependency on fossil fuels.

Weihl: “That’s one of the reasons we have been very focused on energy efficiency from the beginning, one of the reasons we designed and built our own data centers and our own servers.”

And access to clean energy was a key reason Facebook chose the site in Ft. Worth.

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Last year, Facebook signed a long-term contract to purchase the electricity from a new 200-megawatt windfarm in north Texas. The large contract made the construction of the wind farm possible. And, because the farm’s output is expected to exceed Facebook’s needs, it will also increase the availability of clean energy in the region.

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media/Drew Dickerson.
Photo: Facebook’s new data center (source: Facebook).

More Resources
The Newest Addition to the Facebook Data Center Fleet: Fort Worth
Facebook Announces Fifth Data Center, Located In Fort Worth, Texas
Facebook Wants More Green Energy. But Red Tape Is in the Way
Internet and Communications Technology: Global Energy Consumption Trends and Challenges

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John Wihbey

John Wihbey, a writer, educator, and researcher, is an assistant professor of journalism at Northeastern University and a correspondent for Boston Globe Ideas. Previously, he was an assistant director...