Facebook parent company Meta is opening a data center in Kansas City, Missouri, which it says will be one of the most sustainable in the world that will add renewable energy to the local grid.
The $800 million facility will be completely powered by renewable energy and will use 32% less energy and be 80% more water efficient on average than the industry standard, according to Meta. The nearly 1 million-square-foot facility will be located in the Golden Plains Technology Park.
Meta says it chose the Kansas City location in part because of the region’s competitive energy prices and more options to power the facility with renewable energy options. Evergy, which is the electric utility serving most of the Kansas City region, produces about half of its energy from clean energy sources, it says.
The utility produces electricity using a variety of sources, including solar, wind, biogas and hydroelectric, in addition to more traditional means. Evergy says its power system is reliable and flexible to respond to shifts in supply and demand.
Meta says the new data center will achieve net zero carbon emissions and the company will work for it to be LEED gold certified.
Data centers are critical to growing technology operations, but they consume large amounts of energy and water. The US Department of Energy says data centers are responsible for 2% of the country’s electricity use and Data Center Frontier says they were estimated to use 174 billion gallons of water in 2020.
As part of its objectives to power its facilities with renewable energy, Meta says it will add more than 6,400 megawatts of renewable energy to the US grid and invest $3.3 billion in infrastructure. Meta recently executed a power purchase agreement with Great Pathfinder Wind for a 225 megawatt project in Iowa.
In addition to Meta’s energy and water efficiency efforts in its data centers, the company says it aims to restore more water than it consumes by 2030.
Meta has 20 data centers either in operation or planned in the United States, Europe and Asia and the company invested $19 billion in US data center construction and operations from 2010 to 2019. It is currently completing the final stage of its biggest data center in Iowa, a $2.5 billion, 5 million-square-foot facility.
The company said last month it will begin building in September a similar facility as the Kansas City plan in Kuna, Idaho.