Meta has announced its massive Eagle Mountain data center project’s Phase 3 expansion plans, which call for the construction of two additional giant building structures that will add about 2 million square feet to the facility and bring Meta’s total capital investment in the Eagle Mountain project to $1.5 billion.
Five buildings totaling 2.4 million square feet have already been built on the site, a few miles south of Eagle Mountain’s city core, by Meta, which contains the data storage and processing equipment for the largest social media platform in the world.
Moreover, Meta also announced on Friday a donation of $200,000 in support of the Utah County-based Hobble Creek Flow Restoration project of the Central Utah Water Conservancy District. According to Meta, the contribution is a part of a bigger initiative to finance water restoration projects that account for 200% of the water consumption at Eagle Mountain facility. Additionally, compared to the industry standard, its own data center designs are 80% more water efficient.
The fast-growing city of Eagle Mountain is directly benefiting from the data center investment, according to Eagle Mountain Mayor Tom Westmoreland, who accompanied journalists on a tour of the facility on Friday. This is true despite a package of local and state tax breaks that could be worth up to $750 million over the course of several decades.
According to Westmoreland, a strong return on the investment can be shown by looking at the numbers. Prior to Meta moving in, the annual revenue from this land was about $35; today, it generates millions of dollars even with the increased tax.
He added that one of Meta’s initial actions, made before it started building data centers, involved spending $120 million on infrastructure upgrades, including extending electricity service and roads to its site. According to Westmoreland, it would be preferable for that kind of financial investment to come from a private sector partner as opposed to an increase in local taxation.
The $300 million Tyson Foods facility and the Google data center, among other giant investments, have already been attracted to the region, according to the mayor.
“In order to reach our goal we need these kinds of partners, the Metas, the Googles, the Tysons. Because of their capabilities, because of their expertise, because of their resources and the positive impacts they can make.” Westmoreland said.
It’s unclear just how much data the Eagle Mountain facility of Meta will be able to store. However, experts estimate that the highly classified National Security Agency data center in Bluffdale, which has a similar layout, could hold three raised-to-the-power of twelve exabytes of data where in one exabyte is equal to 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes of information.