LOS LUNAS, N.M. (KRQE) – Facebook’s data center in Los Lunas continues to grow. Its latest expansion project will bring two additional buildings to its New Mexico campus. Once complete, the nearly $2 million investment will cover about four million square feet and bring more than 400 jobs to New Mexicans.
With that, comes the question of just how much water and electricity the social media giant will use. “Facebook promised us on the front end that they would be very judicious with their water usage and they would use cutting edge technology to reduce the need of this data center and they’ve not only have come through with that promise they’ve gone over and above reusing their water,” New Mexico Economic Development Director Mark Roper said.
Part of Facebook’s plan consists of restoring 200% of its data center’s water usage through cutting-edge technology, partnerships and five water restoration projects which have already restored 64 million gallons of water in the last year. Part of the plan includes the use of evaporative cooling to pull outside air to help cool 30 data halls across the campus. Additionally, through its partnership with PNM, they’ve been able to bring 10 solar and wind projects throughout the state.
Through a water lease partnership, they are able to take water that would otherwise be used for municipal purposes and put it back in the Rio Grande. After breaking ground in Los Lunas in 2016, Facebook has also invested more than $250,000 to provide internet access to areas without it.
“We are looking to get internet to 900 homes within our residential areas in the disadvantaged parts of the communities. we are looking to get our students really connected to the internet where they don’t have this type of opportunity,” Valencia County’s I.T. Director, Tesa Mast said.
Before the expansion project starts, a survey will be sent out to help gauge where residents are in most need of internet access. The new expansion project is set to be completed by the end of 2024.