Social network company Facebook will power its new Iowa data center using wind energy from the 138.6 MW Wellsburg wind farm, which MidAmerican Energy is currently building in the state.
Vincent Van Son, Facebook's data center energy manager, explains in an online post, ‘We first started working on this project with RPM Access, a local wind project developer, as we were finalizing our decision to locate in Iowa. Earlier this spring, we transferred our rights to the development to MidAmerican Energy, our local utility, to build, own and operate it.’
MidAmerican is developing 1.05 GW of new wind generation in Iowa, and Wellsburg is one of five projects. Work on the wind farm is expected to be complete by 2014, while Facebook's new Altoona, Iowa, data center is slated to begin operation in early 2015.
Van Son notes that the Wellsburg project will likely produce more power than what the data center requires, suggesting the facility will rack up renewable energy certificates. He also notes that Facebook is committed to using 25% renewable energy globally by 2015.