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Project Spotlight: Facebook

Des Moines Data Centers Facebook Expansion

June 13, 2017

Greater Des Moines (DSM) has become a hub for data center sites in recent years as companies realize the business potential of the region. From DSM’s strategic location and low power costs to tax incentives and increasing investment in renewable energy, DSM offers an innovative home for tech companies of all sizes.

A Notable Location for Data Centers

The region, named a Top 10 Location for Data Centers in the United States by CBRE, has already welcomed more than a few big-name companies, including Facebook, Microsoft and LightEdge Solutions. Both Facebook and Microsoft have plans to expand their respective campuses in the area. Lightedge is in the process of completing construction of its second building at the Altoona site. The facility will be 48,000 square feet when completed.

Data Center Needs

DSM’s access to major resources is a draw for these companies as well. A major fiber backbone, ample water resources and availability of wind energy capacity of 6,212 megawatts are integral for a data center. As major energy users, data centers are acutely aware of the need for renewable energy sources, and more specifically the need for increased investment in this area.

Facebook Expansion in DSM USA

Facebook originally broke ground on its data center complex in Altoona, Iowa back in 2013, and has now begun construction on its fourth building at the site. Construction of the fourth Facebook data center building, and the third building, which included “cold storage” for rarely accessed data, will be powered as the others have been, using 100 percent renewable wind energy from Wellsburg Wind Farm and MidAmerican’s portfolio of wind projects, as tracked by renewable energy certificates.

The new building has made the Altoona complex Facebook’s largest active construction site in the country. Since 2013, Facebook has invested more than $1.5 billion in the region. The construction of the fourth data center building will increase the Altoona complex to about 2.5 million square feet, with the fourth and largest building at an impressive 1 million square feet.

Currently, the company has nine data center locations spread out across the U.S. and Europe.

The expansion of Facebook at the Altoona site has been beneficial to both Facebook and to DSM. By its location in DSM, Facebook is able to draw from a well-educated workforce, and the company is able to offer a high quality of life to its employees. In turn, DSM can promote the fact that one of the fastest-growing companies in the world has recognized the benefits of locating in DSM.

Find more information on data centers or contact Stacie Lovan at with questions specific to your business needs.

Stacie LoVan

As project director, Stacie Lovan is the Greater Des Moines Partnership's expert on relocation and expansion opportunities for data centers in Des Moines. Lovan has served as president of the Professional Developers of Iowa and held positions with the Warren County Economic Development Corporation, the City of Fayette and the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce.