Facebook to build massive data center in Utah

Facebook is set to build a new data center in Eagle Mountain that will span nearly one million square feet and repres...

Posted: May 31, 2018 7:27 AM
Updated: May 31, 2018 7:27 AM

Facebook is set to build a new data center in Eagle Mountain that will span nearly one million square feet and represent a $750 million investment in the city.

"I want to thank God for this opportunity. God bless Eagle Mountain, God bless the state of Utah and God bless America," said Eagle Mountain Mayor Tom Westmoreland as he fought back tears during a press conference where city and state officials revealed the name of the company Wednesday morning.

Eagle Mountain has worked for nearly a decade to lure data centers to the city - a plan officials say works well for the more isolated area. While Eagle Mountain can't competitively draw other industries, the city - geographically the third-largest in the state - is a perfect fit for data centers that require a lot of land but not too many new employees.

Attracting Facebook is a victory, officials say.

"Eagle Mountain has gone the distance," said Theresa Foxley, president and CEO of Economic Development Corporation of Utah during the press conference.

While the data center, which is set to be completed by 2020, will most likely only bring in about 30 to 50 jobs, officials say that low number is best for the city so there is no significant impact on local resources like schools, police services or traffic. The city will also see a 1,000 percent return on investment, according to a fiscal impact study commissioned by the city.

"It's good to see that things are happening not just on the I-15 corridor," Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said during the press conference, noting that projects like the data center can help develop areas that wouldn't otherwise be developed.

"(But) Utah doesn't just give money. The company has to give something back," he said.

Facebook has promised to spend at least $100 million to expand the city's infrastructure to accommodate the project. This investment would, in turn, expand infrastructure in all of Cedar Valley and increase the county's power grid by an anticipated 48 percent.

The data center will be powered by 100 percent net-new renewable energy through utilization of Rocky Mountain power renewable energy tariffs, and Facebook will purchase its own water rights and construct the required water infrastructure with money from its own pocket.

"After a thorough search, we selected Eagle Mountain for a number of reasons - it provides good access to renewable energy, a strong talent pool and a great set of partners," said Facebook's vice president of data center strategy Rachel Peterson. "Facebook is in it for the long game."

The state would grant Facebook an estimated $150 million in tax breaks for the project's first phase, with taxes waived for up to 20 years per phase. Those tax breaks may include hundreds of millions of more dollars if the company decides to continue to build on its lot.

The officials who voted on the project chose to approve it if the state could implement a 40-year cap on the agreement.

The data center in its first phase would increase property taxes currently collected for the 490-acre site by 12,000 times. The project will benefit the city, county, Alpine School District, Central Utah Water Conservancy District and Unified Fire Service Area, officials said.

The data center is set for construction at the Sweetwater Industrial Park between a mink farm and water treatment facility.

The announcement comes almost two years after West Jordan lost out to New Mexico for a massive $2.5 billion Facebook data center.

Utah representative and speaker of the house Greg Hughes joked during the press conference that all he heard about from New Mexico officials since that time was how great Facebook was for their state.

"I am being hazed by New Mexico, so you can't imagine my joy (over this announcement)," he said.

The data center is the largest to land in the Beehive State.

"This deal has been brought to fruition through cooperation and hard work across multiple agencies and stakeholders, setting an example for the rest of the nation in how to create a win-win economic benefit for our state both now and in the future," Herbert said in an emailed statement.

West Lafayette
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 73°
Kokomo
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 76°
Rensselaer
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 73°
Fowler
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 73°
Williamsport
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 73°
Crawfordsville
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 72°
Frankfort
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 75°
Delphi
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 74°
Monticello
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 74°
Logansport
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 73°
Calm and Cloudy Start this Wednesday Morning.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 75862

Reported Deaths: 3069
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion16088730
Lake7688278
Elkhart492685
Allen4002163
St. Joseph357883
Hamilton2829104
Vanderburgh202213
Hendricks1927108
Cass18029
Johnson1789119
Porter135539
Clark128749
Tippecanoe123811
Madison100665
LaPorte93130
Howard91365
Kosciusko86812
Bartholomew81747
Floyd80948
Marshall79323
Monroe76631
Delaware74552
Dubois70812
Vigo69911
Noble68829
Boone68746
Hancock68339
Jackson5965
Warrick58830
Shelby56527
LaGrange56310
Grant52930
Dearborn51228
Morgan49334
Clinton4444
Henry40620
Wayne38510
White37611
Montgomery35921
Lawrence35227
Harrison34823
Decatur34132
Putnam3128
Daviess27720
Miami2772
Scott27210
Jasper2552
Greene25434
Franklin24615
DeKalb2384
Gibson2314
Jennings22712
Steuben2133
Ripley2138
Carroll1962
Fayette1947
Perry18713
Posey1790
Starke1787
Wells1742
Orange17424
Fulton1722
Wabash1703
Jefferson1672
Knox1610
Whitley1556
Tipton14312
Washington1421
Sullivan1381
Spencer1373
Clay1245
Huntington1243
Randolph1244
Newton12010
Adams1092
Owen991
Jay920
Rush854
Pulaski811
Fountain742
Brown741
Blackford652
Ohio656
Benton640
Pike590
Vermillion580
Switzerland530
Parke511
Martin480
Crawford450
Union410
Warren241
Unassigned0206

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events