Update: Data center Mecca gathering in North Carolina

According to an announcement late last week, Facebook Inc. has decided to build a $450 million data center facility in Rutherford County, North Carolina. Through a combination of tax incentives, public-private partnerships and meteorological endowment, the state is making a play to become a data center Mecca. Update: This Monday, Gov. Purdue announced that Wipro Infocrossing – a division of India-based Wipro would be opening a $75 million data center in Cleveland County.

The Facebook facility is expected to create more than 250 jobs during the 18-month building phase. The data center will be built according to LEED gold standards, in addition to cooling and power management technologies meant to make the facility one of the most energy efficient data centers in the US.

Gov. Perdue said her administration has been working hard to make North Carolina a destination for data centers. Other companies with similar facilities in the state include Apple Inc., Google Inc.,IBM, SAS and American Express.

“This is a shining example of the public and private sectors working together to create new opportunities for North Carolina communities,” said Lt. Governor Walter Dalton in a statement.

Another important factor in deciding to build in North Carolina, the Associated Press pointed out, is that electricity is relatively inexpensive in the state.

Since last Thursday, nearly 7,000 people have “liked” the Facebook group launched to commemorate and update residents on the project’s status.

The Wipro addition will create nearly 20 full-time jobs, Gov. Perdue said. Wipro purchased a 215,000 square foot structure in Cleveland County and plans to convert the building into a data center with 80,000 square feet of raised floor, to house corporate clients’ computing operations.