Case Study: Facebook

16 Feb, 2018


Launched in February 2004, Facebook is an online social media and social networking service company.  It was initially intended for use by Harvard University students only (where Mark Zuckerberg was enrolled).  By 2006 it was available to everyone over the age of 13.  The company's name came from the face book directories given many new students at American universities. 

Facebook held its initial public offering (IPO) in February 2012, and began selling stock to the public three months later, reaching an original peak market capitalization of $104 billion, a new record.  The company makes most of its revenue from onscreen advertisements.  As of 2017, Facebook has more than 2 billion monthly active users. 

In September 2016 Facebook announced it had selected Los Lunas for a green data center project.  Utah was New Mexico's primary competing state.  This first announcement included one 500,000 square foot data center on the 330-acre campus.  PNM will construct a 30-MW solar farm to provide electric power for the campus.  Affordable Solar, in Albuquerque, was awarded the contract to build the solar panels for the farm.  It will take a combination of wind and solar resources to meet Facebook's power demand.

By July 2017 Facebook was ready to commit to doubling the size of the first data center by constructing a second data center totaling 460,000 square feet.

Just two months later, Facebook announced it would fully build-out the campus with six massive data centers that represent a $1.5 billion investment.  Each data center will have about 50 employees.

About the Los Lunas Data Center

  • 330-acre campus
  • Green - powered by all renewable energy sources
  • $1.5 billion total investment
  • Six data centers at about 500,000 square feet each

Economic Development Toolbox

  • LEDA investment of $10 million
Facebook chose Los Lunas "First and foremost" because of its skilled labor pool to build the data centers and run operations." KC Timmons, Data Operations West Region Manager

Diverse, plentiful energy sources. And a strong Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard.

NM's dry climate is ideal for air cooling racks of servers. No state has a lower afternoon relative humidity than New Mexico (National Climate Data Center).

8th Most Friendly Tax Climate (Kiplinger).

New Mexico's electricity prices are very competitive.  The average industrial price for a kWh is 19% less than the U.S. average (EIA, 2017).