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Question Your World: What makes the new Virginia Facebook data center so cool?

In a cool turn of events, Facebook “liked” us! The social media giant Facebook has just announced that it will be building its newest state-of-the-art data center right here in Virginia! Data centers require a lot of energy, but Facebook has some pretty cutting-edge plans for their new data center. What makes the new Virginia Facebook data center so cool? 

We Virginians just got the “notification” that Facebook will be opening a new data center here. The new 970,000-square-foot facility “friend requested” a spot in eastern Henrico County, just outside of the City of Richmond.

Data centers generally house the most critical systems within a company’s large computer network. They can come with uninterruptible power sources, massive heating and cooling systems, and around-the-clock monitoring. All this data storing requires a lot of energy.

Perhaps the most cutting-edge thing about the new billion-dollar Facebook building is that it will run on 100% renewable energy. This is a pretty big deal, actually. Consider for a moment just how much energy is used by these facilities. The largest data centers use as much electricity as a small town. Google uses 1/100th of a percent of the entire world’s energy to power its data centers alone. The world’s biggest data center, currently based in Chicago, is around 1.1 million square feet and is backed up by 53 generators!

Facebook currently has over 1.9 billion users and counting! As humans use more and more data every year, we’ll need more of these data centers to keep up with our cat memes and baby pictures. The fact that Facebook is going 100% renewable energy for this location means there are no new heat trapping gases and no additional pollution sources. This will also serve as a role model for other companies in the future. Energy needs will continue to climb as more and more of these data centers are built to store people’s continuing need for more data. Renewable energy construction helps keep heat trapping gas emissions at much lower levels than construction using the current standard sources of energy. 

So, what do we think of Facebook’s new 100% renewable energy VA location? It serves as another example of how these big 21st century facilities can be built to be as close to carbon-neutral as possible. Similar to all those cat memes and baby pics, we like it! 

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