Amazon may still be weeks away from making a final decision on where in North America they will build their second corporate headquarters, HQ2, but social networking giant Facebook has already chosen its own spot. An agreement had been reached between the State of Virginia and Mark Zuckerberg’s company, all to the tune of a total $1 billion in investments. What they will be used for was revealed by State Governor Terry McAuliffe on Thursday. Facebook was planning a new facility for their social networking operation, and the site chosen would be not far away from the state capital.

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In a public statement on October 5, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) revealed the construction of a data center by Facebook.

It will be built at the White Oak Technology Park in Henrico Country, not far from the international airport servicing the capital, Richmond. The structure and compound will run up to $750 million in costs, with an additional $250 million to set up solar power generation facilities to electrify the data center. The latter is made possible by a renewable energy tariff agreement between Facebook and major power company, Dominion Energy. The complex will become the eighth data center the social media giant has in operation within the US.

Gov. McAuliffe expressed his keen interest in developing Virginia as a new up and coming leader in the technology economy worldwide. The investment boon from Facebook is one of many such projects being undertaken by various major companies in the state, and the influx of employment opportunities for Virginians is most welcome.

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Facebook will need some 1,700 in manpower to do construction of the data center, and once it is up and running it will generate 100 full-time jobs. These will join the 13,500 other Virginians already working for 650 data centers operated by different businesses within the state.

Network growth

Facebook has been on a roll with the growth of its company and its user base. By June they had already reached the milestone of 2 billion monthly users, and that much activity requires more data centers to ensure optimal performance of the platform. The company already has seven active centers spread throughout Oregon, North Carolina, and Iowa. Aside from the planned facility in Virginia, other construction projects that are already underway can be found in Texas, New Mexico, and Ohio.

According to the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, for the upcoming data center, Facebook will receive no less than $19 million in tax exemptions from the state, running up to 2035. The agreement comes across as being a positive for Facebook which was being accused of unwitting involvement in Russian interference during the 2016 Presidential Elections.