Facebook is planning to build its first non-US server farm next year. It will be located in Luleå, Sweden, a small town at the northern tip of the Baltic Sea, which is just 100km south of the Arctic Circle. The news is expected to become official tomorrow morning, but reports have come out early detailing the enormous facility.
The new computer servers are expected to use as much electricity as a town of 50,000 people, according to The Telegraph. The new 120MW data center, comprised of three giant server halls taking up 30,000 square meters each, will cost $72 million a year in just electricity, according to The Local. It will also generate somewhere between 70 and 90 new full-time jobs.
Luleå has three big selling points. First of all, it's a prime location to take advantage of outside cooling (which reduces the overall company's carbon footprint): the temperature has not been above 30°C/86°F for more than 24 hours since 1961 and the average temperature is around 2°C/36°F. Secondly, dams on the Luleå river generate so much renewable electricity that half is exported. Last but not least, Sweden has a dense fiber-optic network, so data can flow reliably to the rest of Europe and beyond.
Rumors about Facebook choosing the Luleå facility have been circulating since May. At the time though, council representatives said the identity of the investor would remain under wraps while negotiations continued. Facebook reporteldy looked at more than 40 sites in Sweden alone, but it looks like Luleå won.