REPORT: Facebook To Build Huge Data Center Near Arctic Circle

Here’s hoping that Facebook has plenty of employees who can handle cold weather as the social network is set to announce that it is building a huge new data center close to the Arctic Circle.

The company will build a multi-million-dollar server farm that will contain a large number of servers and will use as much electricity as a town of 50,000 people, reports The Telegraph. The data center will be built in Luleå, northern Sweden, and will be the first Facebook server farm outside of the U.S. Facebook is set to announce the facility at a press conference on Thursday.

Part of the reason why Facebook has opted to build the facility in Luleå is due to the climate there, which will allow the social network to simply use natural air to cool the servers rather than having to use a complicated air conditioning system.

“If you take the statistics, the temperature has not been above 30C [86F] for more than 24 hours since 1961. If you take the average temperature, it’s around 2C [35.6F],” said Mats Engman, chief executive of the Aurorum Science Park. The park is attempting to attract other major tech companies to turn Luleå, which is situated just 62 miles south of the Arctic Circle, into a tech hotbed.

Facebook’s facility will comprise of 3 buildings covering the size of around 11 football fields. Keeping the servers that will be housed in the facility operational will require around 120MW of power. That is enough to power 16,000 homes and will cost around £45 million ($71.7 million) per year. The facility will use electricity generated by dams on the nearby Luleå river.

“The Luleå river produces twice as much electricity as the Hoover Dam does, so 50 per cent is exported from our region. There is a surplus of energy, and we can supply more data centres in this area easily,” Engman said.

Engman added that Facebook was encouraged to build its facility in Luleå due to the reliability of the power grid in the area and the fact that Sweden has a dense fibre optic network.

Facebook’s Director of Site Operations Tom Furlong will hold the press conference, during which a full outline of the social network’s plans for the data center will be offered. The company looked at more than 40 locations in Sweden alone for its new facility. Furlong led the development on Facebook’s first major server farm in Prineville, Ore., which is being expanded. The Prineville facility uses natural air cooling during the cold nights and winters and only uses power to cool the servers on hot summer days.

In April, Facebook revealed details of its Open Compute Project, which is designed to make computing and data centers as efficient as possible. Using natural cold air to keep servers cool is certainly one way of doing that.

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One Response to REPORT: Facebook To Build Huge Data Center Near Arctic Circle

  1. Tim says:

    This matter has been resolved from a Hadith of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH)
    as well as from an explanation from the noble scholars of Islam.