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Facebook picks Virginia for $1B data center (+ video: new tool to fight fake news)

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Oct, 5 2017, 3:32 PM

Facebook keeps expanding its footprint in the United States. Next stop: Virginia.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, announced Thursday that Facebook will build its next data center in Henrico County, which is just outside Richmond.

Facebook plans to invest $1 billion in the state in all. The company is putting $750 million into construction and $250 million to multiple solar facilities that will power the data center, McAuliffe said.

"Working with companies like Facebook and many others, we are advancing Virginia's position as a global leader in the technology economy," McAuliffe said at an event announcing the decision.

The investment is expected to create 100 full-time jobs.

In August, the company announced that it will invest $750 million to build a new facility in New Albany, Ohio, just outside Columbus.

Facebook also operates a data center in western North Carolina.

Facebook will receive about $19 million in state tax exemptions through 2035, according to the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.

Facebook already has data centers in Oregon, North Carolina and Iowa. Centers in Fort Worth, Texas; Los Lunas, New Mexico; and New Albany, Ohio are currently under construction.

"One of the many important factors in our search for a new data center location is being able to source clean and renewable energy. We also look for great partnerships within the local community, robust infrastructure ... and a strong pool of local talent," Rachel Peterson, Facebook's director of data center strategy, said in a statement.

Even as Facebook weathers criticism for 3,000 Russian-bought ads that appeared on the platform around the time of the presidential election, the platform's user base -- and thus its need for computing power -- continues to grow.

Facebook hit 2 billion monthly users in June.





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