Facebook's new Fort Worth data center gets Internet.org role

Facebook has announced plans for its latest data center, a huge facility in Fort Worth, Texas, that despite its size will be powered entirely by renewable energy. In addition to helping keep Facebook – and thus the photos of her holiday your aunt insists on sharing with you – online, the new location will also be integral in Mark Zuckerberg's Internet.org pet project. Unusually for a company of its scale, however, Facebook will be opening up its designs for the Fort Worth facility to anyone who wants to build their own data center.

That's part of the Open Compute Project, which Facebook kicked off in 2011. The company developed its own server architecture, and then opened it up to third-parties so that others could build upon it, and hopefully improve it.

Some of those improvements are in performance, but other areas of focus are efficiency. The Fort Worth facility will do its part there by running entirely on renewable energy, following Facebook's agreement to bring 200 MW to the Texas power grid.

"Thanks to our continued focus on efficiency and our investments in renewables in recent years," Tom Furlong, VP of Infrastructure at Facebook said, "the carbon impact of one person's use of Facebook for an entire year is the same as the carbon impact of a medium latte."

Facebook already has data centers in Altoona, Prineville, Forest City, and Lulea.

While the impact for existing Facebook users might be a little less downtime for the social network, the new facility will also be instrumental in Mark Zuckerberg's plans to bring the next billion internet addicts online.

Internet.org is a consortium approach tackling low-cost web access in geographies inhospitable to traditional connectivity, including such ambitious schemes as beaming the internet from lasers in the sky.

SOURCE Facebook