Local officials were thrilled to announce on Thursday that social media giant Facebook will be building a huge new data facility in Henrico County.Facebook and Henrico County officials unveiled the company’s plans to construct a new data center outside of the state’s capital. Facebook’s newest data center will be a massive, one million square-foot building, which will house 100 employees while also creating thousands of jobs during the center’s construction. The announcement is great news for the community and local government as the economy is certain to benefit significantly, while also helping to attract other companies to the area such as Amazon, which is currently shopping around in the region for a new headquarters location.
Energy tax credits helped to draw Facebook to the area; the company has partnered with Dominion Energy in designing a new renewable energy tax. The two companies plan to spend $250 million to build new solar facilities that will allow the new data center to operate solely on renewable energy, the result of which will be nearly $20 million in tax exemptions in the first 15 years of the facility’s operations in the state. In addition to utilizing solar power, the company said that the data center will also conserve energy by using “direct evaporative cooling” systems and incorporating outdoor air. A portion of the large tax credit exemption includes an $850,000 sewer connection credit from the county. The data center is projected to be operational sometime in 2019 and will include two administration buildings for the time-being. The facility will be located in the White Oak Technology Park in the eastern portion of Henrico County, with most of the complex's 100 jobs revolving around computer maintenance. Facebook currently has seven data centers in the United States; the new Henrico County location will be the eighth.