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Posted 29 Nov 18 By: No comments yet

Here’s a status update for Facebook’s data center in Los Lunas

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.Nov. 14, 2018 - By Collin Krabbe, Albuquerque Business First

Two years have passed since Facebook broke ground for its Los Lunas data center, a project many are hoping will bring prosperity to the area.

Though some have criticized the ability of data centers to sustain a large amount of high-paying jobs, the California-based social media giant is adamant this one will become an economic driver in Valencia County.

"The data center will provide good competitive jobs and we expect will support hundreds of jobs through the community, ranging from support services to building and operating wind and solar farms in New Mexico," said spokeswoman Amy Hunter.

In 2016, Albuquerque's Affordable Solar was chosen to build three solar farmsthat will supply energy to the data center. Two similar projects were approved by the Public Regulation Commission in September, according to our reporting.

Hunter could not give an estimate for the total number of workers the Los Lunas facility will have, but did say a typical two-building center supports over 100 full-time positions. Once completed, the $1 billion site will have six buildings.

The project also brings around 1,200 construction laborers daily, with around 80 percent of them coming from within New Mexico.

Hunter cited increased demand for construction workers as the main reason for delays and said construction is slated well into 2023. The data center is expected to come online in early 2019, she said. Business First previously reported that the project was set to open this year.

According to a report from RTI International, Facebook data centers have contributed around $6 billion in GDP since 2010 and created thousands of jobs nationwide. Every data center job supports five positions elsewhere in the economy, the report states.

Though the project is still in the works, its financial effects can already be felt. The Village of Los Lunas saw a $2 million boost in cumulative gross receipts tax revenue after construction commenced, Business First reported.

The Los Lunas data center is the state's largest industrial revenue bond project. The Los Lunas Village Council approved an industrial revenue bond for Facebook. With that bond, Facebook will buy up to $30 billion in industrial revenue bonds over a 30-year period, according to the village. In an industrial revenue bond agreement, a company invests money to create or expand its business through construction or additional manufacturing equipment. In exchange, the local government body can agree to help the company pay for that investment, often by reducing its property and gross receipts taxes. The total dollar amount of an IRB refers to what a company expects to invest, not what it would be given in tax breaks.

Hunter said that once operational, the center will not take advantage of any additional economic development funding or incentive programs, such as the Jobs Training Incentive Program.



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