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Monday, July 13, 2020

Dekalb to be site of Facebook’s new $800 million dollar Illinois Data Center

Renewable energy access was one of several reasons Facebook chose Dekalb for the site

DEKALB, Ill – Facebook announced today that, as part of their commitment to invest in America, the tech company’s newest worldwide data center will be built in DeKalb, Illinois, bringing an investment of more than $800 million. The Facebook DeKalb Data Center will be among the most advanced, energy- and water-efficient data center facilities in the world, supporting an estimated 100 operational jobs and hundreds of construction jobs.

“There are many variables that enter into the decision process for data center locations, and DeKalb provided many compelling reasons for Facebook to bring our newest data center to Illinois,” said Rachel Peterson, Vice President of Data Center Strategy for Facebook. “We’re so thankful to the City of DeKalb, the DeKalb County Economic Development Corporation, the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, and all of our community partners for their diligence and enthusiasm throughout this process. We are proud to join the DeKalb community and look forward to a strong relationship for years to come.”

“This new state-of-the-art data center will advance the State of Illinois’s commitment to growing technology and renewable energy throughout our state,” said Acting Director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), Michael Negron. “Under Governor Pritzker’s leadership, more companies continue to make Illinois a destination – based on the talent of our people, access to education and amenities, and our continued investments to modernize shared infrastructure. We thank Facebook for the vote of confidence in DeKalb and the State of Illinois, and for investments today that will create high-paying jobs for our communities tomorrow.”

This 907,000 square foot facility, the 12th Facebook data center in the U.S., will be supported by 100% renewable energy, will use 80% less water than the average data center, and, once completed, will be LEED Gold certified. As one of the largest data centers in Illinois, the Facebook DeKalb Data Center will accelerate opportunities for the community to attract skilled jobs, while increasing the northwest region’s competitive digital edge.

“Today, we’re proud to celebrate that DeKalb will be Facebook’s newest home,” said Jerry Smith, Mayor of DeKalb. “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. We hope that the ripple effect of Facebook’s decision will be a catalyst for more companies to see all that DeKalb and this region have to offer.”

DeKalb was chosen as the site for Facebook’s newest data center site due to its access to renewable energy, a strong talent pool, higher education institutions, community partners and strong infrastructure. DeKalb Mayor Jerry Smith and Governor J.B. Pritzker joined Facebook for an announcement video in lieu of a traditional groundbreaking, due to COVID-19 limitations.

This new data center builds on strong growth in data centers since Governor Pritzker took office. In 2019, Illinois increased its data center capacity by over 10 percent, building on the Chicago metro’s status as a top-five data center market in the U.S. A data center incentive passed into law in 2019 with bipartisan support is designed to attract data center development, as well as creating construction and professional jobs and sparking community investment.

Facebook is partnering with the City of DeKalb, the Kishwaukee Water Reclamation District, and Krusinski Construction Company to help design, build and provide support for infrastructure in the area. This includes nearly three miles of water lines, one and a half miles of sewer extension and repaving local roads.

Hundreds of construction workers will work onsite for several years. Facebook will be hiring for data center jobs including technicians, engineers, construction management, facility managers, logistics professionals, and security personnel. Mortenson Construction was selected as the general contractor for the DeKalb Data Center. The site will employ an estimated 1,200 construction and trades at the project’s peak.

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