Apple Mesa: Facebook revealed as the company behind $800m Mesa project

Aug 16, 2021 | Posted by Eric Bell

Last week, Facebook announced that it is the tech company behind the data center in Mesa. The 960,000 sqft facility will see a projected $800 million investment, and an estimated 100 operational jobs and 1,500 construction jobs. That said, the tech giant's plans haven't been without opposition. Back in May, some local council members raised fears about the amount of water the facility would consume. 

Mesa Vice Mayor Jenn Duff voiced her concerns that the project counteracted climate goals. She said: "As we form Mesa's climate action plan and embark upon the first phase of the seven-state drought contingency plan, making cutbacks to agriculture, I cannot in good conscience approve this mega data center using 1.7 million gallons per day at total build out, up to 3 million square feet on 396 acres."

Facebook, however, now claims that its Arizona facility will "restore" more water than it consumes and use 60% less water than a typical data center. It will reportedly replenish water by delivering 200 million gallons of water per year into the Colorado River and Salt River basins. According to reports, Facebook is also prioritizing clean energy with this project, and all power will derive from three new solar facilities in Pinal County in conjunction with the Salt River Project, making it 100% renewable.

Commenting on the company's Mesa undertaking, Rachel Peterson, VP of Infrastructure at Facebook, said: "We are thrilled to be breaking ground on our newest data center. Mesa stood out as a great location for a number of reasons. It has great access to infrastructure, opportunities for renewable energy development, strong talent for both construction and operations, and great community partners. 

She added: "Thank you to the Arizona Commerce Authority, the City of Mesa, the Eastmark Community, Salt River Project, Bonneville Environmental Foundation, the State of Arizona, and to all of our partners who have helped get us to today. We are excited to join the Mesa community and look forward to having a strong partnership for years to come."

Sandra Watson, President and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority, shared similar sentiments and welcomed the tech company. She commented: "We're excited to welcome Facebook's state-of-the-art data operations to Arizona.

Adding: "Arizona has become one of the leading destinations for data centers anywhere in the world, and with the addition of Facebook, we demonstrate once again our premier attractiveness for technology. We look forward to partnering with Facebook to prioritize sustainability and conservation as we add to Arizona's already thriving technology ecosystem."