Governor Gary Herbert announced Facebook will build a nearly 1 million-square-foot data center near Eagle Mountain in Utah. The announcement came after Facebook and Utah officials tried to make a similar deal in 2016.
Utah Technology Council President and CEO John Knotwell said a Fortune 100 company building one of 10 nationwide data centers in Utah is big step forward. He said this move is evidence that Utah is becoming a tech-friendly state.
“I think there are a lot of reasons why any company would want to move here,” Knotwell said. “We have a young vibrant workforce, we have a high quality of life with easy access to recreation, a commitment at the government level to keep regulation low, and make investments in education and infrastructure.”
The data center will employee about 30-50 people and the project is receiving a $150 million tax incentive, but Knotwell said it doesn’t mean Facebook won’t continue to grow in Utah.
“If we take their most recent placement in Los Alamos, they’re working on their next big investment in that economy,” Knotwell said. “They’re going to put in $750 million worth of capital investment in Utah just in the construction of the facility and the development of the land. $100 million in infrastructure out to that 400-acre site, which for a data center you really don’t need 400 acres. You can see that that area will blossom, there will be additional jobs created out there. Other companies will likely have incentives to move out there since they won’t have to make the investment in those areas.”
In a statement by Facebook, the company picked the site because of the availability of renewable energy, local workforce and community support. Construction is expected to be complete by 2020.