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New Mexico gets another Like from Facebook

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An artist’s rendering shows what Facebook’s Los Lunas data center will look like after completion of the second phase. The company announced Tuesday it was moving forward on the second building. (Courtesy of Facebook)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Facebook today announced construction of a second $250 million building at its Los Lunas project, nearly doubling the size of the data center that’s been taking shape there.

The company last October broke ground on the first phase of its Los Lunas data center, which includes a 510,000-square-foot building and administrative space. That phase will be ready for use in late 2018, the company said. The second building will add another 460,000 square feet. Site work already is underway on the second building.

During peak construction activity, as many as 1,000 construction workers will be on site, Facebook announced in a post on a web page devoted to the project. More than 100 employees could be employed at the two buildings once they are opened, Facebook officials said.

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When Facebook chose to build its data center in Los Lunas rather than at a site in Utah, the company said the project could consist of up to six buildings, each costing $250 million.

“We couldn’t be more impressed with the fast pace of the teams working on the data center,” the Facebook post said of the first phase. “We want to build on this strong momentum …”

To entice the company to New Mexico, Facebook was promised up to $30 billion in industrial revenue bonds, $10 million in Local Economic Development Act funding and tax reimbursements of up to $1.6 million.

“This is exciting news for New Mexico,” Gov. Susana Martinez said in a statement released eary Tuesday. “We’re proud to have a cutting-edge high-tech company like Facebook as a partner as we move forward in diversifying New Mexico’s economy.”

Facebook said the second building, like the first, will be “one of the most advanced and energy efficient data center facilities in the world,” featuring the latest in server, storage and network designs.

Also, it will be run with “100 percent clean and renewable energy,” under the solar energy arrangement it has made with Public Service Company of New Mexico.

PNM will invest a total of $45 million in three solar plants through a contract with Facebook that commits the company to supply all of the data center’s power with renewable energy.

Two of New Mexico’s largest homegrown solar companies, Affordable Solar and Array Technologies, have been chosen to build the solar arrays and supply needed equipment.

Facebook said its first construction phase has had an average of 150 workers on site daily, “logging more than 280,000 hours of work on the project, moving 3,200,000 cubic yards of dirt, and pouring more than 30,000 cubic yards of concrete.”

Economic Development Secretary Matt Geisel said in the state’s news release, “After experiencing all New Mexico has to offer, Facebook is doubling down on their investment. We’ve seen it again and again, when we bring companies to New Mexico, good things happen.”

Work is underway on the first phase of Facebook’s data center in Los Lunas. The first phase is expected to be in operation in late 2018. (Courtesy of Facebook)

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