Facebook to Build Massive Arctic Data Fortress

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Image credit: TechNewsWorld

By Richard Adhikari

Facebook is planning to build a massive new data center in the industrial town of Lulea in Swedish Lapland, about 70 miles from the Arctic Circle.

The data center will consist of three buildings, the first of which will cover about 33,000 square yards, Facebook spokesperson Alex Kirschner told TechNewsWorld.

That will make the building almost seven times the size of a football field.

The data center will be powered “almost exclusively” by hydroelectricity, Kirschner said.

The combination of hydropower and Lulea’s cool weather, which will let the data center use outside air for cooling for eight to 10 months of the year, will make the installation “significantly more efficient than the industry standard,” Kirschner stated.

Construction of the first building will begin this year and is scheduled for completion in 2012.

Greenpeace, which has criticized Facebook strongly over the years for consuming electricity produced by coal-burning power stations, has applauded Facebook’s plan, on the whole.

“Going to a place like they did in Sweden where they can power their entire data center by renewable energy is good, but we think there’s a few more things they should do to be a leader in this space in the IT world,” Greenpeace international campaigner Casey Harrell told TechNewsWorld.



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