Facebook to build $800M data center in DeKalb

Facebook has announced it will build an $800 million data center in DeKalb that will create about 100 permanent jobs and depend on 100 percent renewable energy.

The 907,000 square-foot data center, Facebook’s 12th in the U.S. and first in Illinois, will use 80% less water than an average data center, the social media giant said Tuesday.

The 100 employees will include technicians, engineers, construction management, facilities management, logistic professionals and security personnel, Facebook said.

The Facebook site can hold five buildings, and two will be completed by 2022, the company said.

“As time progresses, we will decide if it makes sense for us to continue to expand,” said Rachel Peterson, vice president of data center strategy for Facebook.

Facebook chose DeKalb, in Chicago’s far western suburbs, because of its access to renewable energy, talent pool and strong community partners, Peterson said.

“The State of Illinois is thrilled that Facebook has chosen to build a state-of-the-art data center that will advance our commitment to growing technology and renewable energy throughout Illinois,” said Michael Negron, acting director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

“It’s a boon to our community, and once online, this data center will be part of a network that connects people all over the world,” DeKalb Mayor Jerry Smith said in a news release.