When Facebook opens its facility in New Albany in about two years, it will be the social-media giant's first data center in Ohio, according to state leaders.

The facility also is expected to be powered by electricity generated from renewable sources -- wind or solar, for example -- the company plans to obtain by working directly with a utility or provider, Facebook officials said.

Facebook's plan

The $750 million, 970,000-square-foot data-center complex will be constructed on 345 acres in New Albany's International Business Park on the east side of Beech Road and south of the state Route 161 interchange.

Crews will start moving dirt within the next few weeks, said Rachel Peterson, director of data-center strategy and development for Facebook.

The first building in the complex will be completed in 2019, she said, and the second building should be finished in 2020.

Peterson said she expects the project to generate thousands of construction jobs and at least 100 full-time jobs, which means more income-tax revenue for New Albany.

"We're going to see hundreds of millions of dollars invested in the project," she said.

The project also requires a city investment to prepare the land, which is undeveloped.

New Albany City Manager Joe Stefanov said the city would be responsible for $25 million in infrastructure improvements.

Water, sewer and road improvements will be in place by next summer, he said.

Energy assets

The New Albany data center will be Facebook's 10th, said company spokeswoman Lindsay Amos.

After construction on some of the centers is complete, eight -- including New Albany -- would be powered by renewable energy, which is generated from such sustainable sources as wind, hydroelectric and solar power, she said.

Amos said Facebook would develop a plan for providing renewable energy before the New Albany data center goes online in 2019. Company officials are considering multiple options, she said.

Facebook's goal is to have "100 percent clean and renewable energy in our mix for our entire operations," she said. She said the company builds every new data center with that goal.

Data centers account for 96 percent of Facebook's total electricity consumption, according to the company's website.

Facebook is using a variety of energy solutions to power its data centers, Amos said. She said energy consumption includes "everything from servers to security systems to the lights."

For example, data centers in Altoona, Iowa, and Fort Worth, Texas, are powered by wind energy, and a data center in Lulea, Sweden, is powered by hydro energy, she said.

Data centers in Clonee, Ireland, and Papillion, Nebraska, will be powered by wind energy, and a data center in Los Lunas, New Mexico, will be powered by wind and solar energy, she said.

She said the company works directly with a utility or provider to purchase the energy and ensure its consumption needs are covered.

"We work with utilities and/or partners to build wind farms, solar farms, etc., that add net new renewables to the electric grid powering our data center," Amos said. "We ensure the volume of energy created by (a) wind farm, solar farm, etc., is at least the volume that we expect to consume."

She said in New Mexico, for example, Facebook worked with the Public Service Co. of New Mexico and in Nebraska, it worked with the Omaha Public Power District.

Amos said company officials had "nothing to share at this time about our energy solution for New Albany."

New Albany spokesman Scott McAfee said that although a number of businesses in the Business Park are LEED certified, he isn't aware of any companies in the park powered by 100 percent renewable energy.

LEED, an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an industry certification for how green or environmentally friendly a building is.

More to come?

Meanwhile, Gov. John Kasich and other state leaders heralded Facebook's New Albany data center as one more significant step in attracting tech jobs to Ohio.

"One of our goals has been ... to diversify the state," Kasich said at the Aug. 15 news conference to officially announce the project. "Ohio has had a heavy reliance on manufacturing," he said, after thanking Facebook for recognizing that Ohio has the workforce to support high-tech jobs.

John Minor, CEO of JobsOhio, the state's privatized development organization, said that excluding "capital-intensive" shale and gas projects, Facebook's investment is the second-largest -- behind the Amazon data centers and fulfillment centers -- that the state has attracted since JobsOhio's creation in 2011.

The Columbus Dispatch reporter Marla Rose contributed to this story.

ssole@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSarah