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Facebook says the four-year buildout of its massive data center complex in Prineville created nearly 1,500 jobs during the construction project that began in 2009, the key finding in an economic impact report the company issued Wednesday.
Facebook operates two, 330,000-square-foot data centers in Prineville and has space for a third. Facebook's data centers employ 113 people, but ECONorthwest said secondary effects nearly double the employment impact. For 2013, ECONorthwest estimated the total value of economic activity from Facebook's Prineville operations at $45 million. One element not in Facebook's report: The utility franchise fees generated by the company's power use. Previously, Facebook had disclosed that its Prineville data centers used 153 million kilowatt hours of electricity in 2012, equivalent to the power use of roughly 13,000 homes. The company hasn't disclosed 2013 numbers yet, but the total is likely considerably higher because Facebook brought additional sections of its operation online last year.
The company also plans an unspecified green energy project in the area, according to Prineville's city manager.
The secretive Silicon Valley company issued a brief statement on its plans after Crook County and Prineville voted last week to approve a tax break deal that will exempt most of the project from property taxes.
Apple paid $5.6 million in February to buy 160 acres in Prineville and almost immediately began construction of a 10,000 square-foot, modular server farm on the bluffs above town.
It's impossible to value Apple's tax breaks at this point, because the size of the tax exemption will depend on how much the company invests in Prineville.
But in Prineville -- population 9,300 -- and other small communities, even a few dozen jobs can make a big difference.

Prineville is also negotiating with representatives of a third project, known variously by the code names "Cloud" and "Jasper," according Forrester. While Forrester said he did not know the real name of the company behind the project, people familiar with Prineville's economic development efforts say they believe the company in question is Texas-based data hosting specialist Rackspace. Starting in 2009, three Facebook employees dedicated themselves to custom-designing servers, server racks, power supplies, UPS units, and battery backup systems for the company's first data center in Prineville, Oregon. By 2011, Facebook's data center in Prineville used 38% less energy to do the same work as the company's other data centers at the time, while costing 24% less. With the help of Facebook and photographer Alan Brandt, we compiled some photos to show off what Facebook's data centers look like from the inside and outside. Facebook gets a lot of flack for the energy consumption in their data centers, but the social media giant's central Oregon facility could change that.
The Prineville Data Center enjoys a high desert climate, meaning low humidity and temperatures that get pretty hot in the summer. Wednesday's report is the first time the Facebook has disclosed total construction employment.
Including "indirect" and "induced" impacts, which are somewhat speculative, ECONorthwest estimated Facebook's total construction impact at $573.2 million. Facebook notes that its operations helped prompt an expansion of a regional power substation, which could enable additional economic activity in the region. The company has told Prineville officials it plans a green energy project in Crook County, too, but hasn't specified what it will build.Apple says its new Prineville data center will employ "dozens" when it opens, and bring hundreds of temporary construction jobs to Crook County in the interim.
In addition to the hundreds of employees at our retail stores, we will be hiring dozens of people and bringing hundreds of construction jobs to the area."Custom data centers like the one Apple is building in Prineville are huge buildings stuffed with powerful computers called servers.

Facebook opened its first company-owned data center there last year near Apple's site, and is now building a matching facility next door.
When it was exploring plans for Prineville last year, Apple described a 31-megawatt data center -- enough energy to power five cities of Prineville's size. But Apple has indicated it also plans a green energy project in Prineville, according to Forrester. The Prineville Data Center has achieved LEED Gold certification and proudly boasts an innovative mechanical cooling system that uses almost zero energy to lower the temps in the server rooms. Facebook’s Oregon center runs 38% more efficiently than other state-of-the-art data centers, yet it cost 24% less to construct. Designed by Chicago-based Sheehan Partners, the Prineville Data Center is a model for digital information storage.
The Prineville center relies on evaporative cooling – pulling in dry air, misting it with water and then as it evaporates the temperature lowers.
Sheehan Partners has designed and built another data center for Facebook in North Carolina, which is also expected to achieve LEED Gold status.

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