Meta to build $800M data center, add 100 jobs in Indiana

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Another major tech company is detailing plans to set up shop in Indiana.

Meta Platforms Inc., the parent of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, said Thursday it will invest $800 million to establish a data center campus at River Ridge Commerce Center in Jeffersonville and create 100 jobs.

The 700,000-square-foot facility will be the company’s 22nd data center in the world and 18th in the United States.

Brad Davis, director of data center community and economic development at Meta, told Inside INdiana Business Host Gerry Dick there were several factors in selecting Jeffersonville for the project.

“We’re looking for shovel ready sites that allow us to move quickly, have the infrastructure in place,” Davis said. “We’re looking for a deep pool of talent to both construct and operate the facility. Obviously, those factors are here. And most importantly, at least in my eyes, is supportive partners that are helping you along the way, and we’ve come across some amazing folks in Jeffersonville and the state of Indiana.”

Meta says the Jeffersonville Data Center will be supported by 100% renewable energy, and the campus will achieve LEED Gold certification once it is operational.

Construction on the facility will begin this month and is expected to be complete in 2026. In addition to the 100 permanent jobs, the project is expected to support more than 1,250 construction jobs.

The new jobs will include a variety of positions, Davis said, including server technicians, electrical and mechanical engineers, and logistics specialists.

Davis said projects such as this have a tendency to create certain positive supply chain impacts that can be beneficial to the area.

“We have seen circumstances in the past where suppliers, vendors, etc. will locate nearby in order to serve this type of activity, and there is somewhat of a ‘follow the leader’ effect as well,” he said. “When Meta locates in an area, it’s not shocking to see other large hyperscale data centers follow suit as a result of the robust process that we go through and ultimately evaluating locations.”

Davis said the company evaluated several potential sites over the period of a few years, though he wouldn’t specify where the other locations were. He said, however, that Indiana rose to the top of the list quickly.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has offered Meta a 35-year data center sales tax exemption on its minimum $800 million investment.

The exemption was created through legislation signed into law in 2019 by Gov. Eric Holcomb. The law provides exemptions from the state’s sales tax on purchases of qualifying data center equipment and energy for up to 50 years, if the company’s investment is $750 million or more.

The IEDC’s offer to Meta provides also provides exemptions for an additional five-year period, up to a total term of 50 years, for each additional $800 million investment made at the site. The company cannot claim the incentives until the investments are made.

The city of Jeffersonville and the River Ridge Development Authority have offered additional incentives.

“River Ridge has been saving this 619-acre site for a mega company, and Meta’s investment and commitment to our community are proof that this strategy is paying off,” Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore said in a news release. “The economic activity around this new data center will support every sector of our economy.”

The news comes just under a week after Google announced it is the company behind a planned $875 million data center campus in Fort Wayne that will create 30 jobs. Officials say the investment for that project could rise to up to $4 billion based on the number of facilities built on the site on the city’s southeast side.

Inside INdiana Business will have more on the project and its impact on River Ridge and the region on this weekend’s edition of Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick. Click here for local listings.

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4 thoughts on “Meta to build $800M data center, add 100 jobs in Indiana

  1. This is good news for Jeffersonville and the fact that the site will use 100% renewable energy. However, the issue with data centers is not the energy usage, it is the water usage. Data centers require high water usage to cool the servers. I suspect that the water will be coming from the Ohio River but just like power plants, Meta needs to be required to cool the water back to ambient before discharging back to the river. Alternatively and probably better is to require Meta to reuse and recycle its water usage as much as possible.

  2. Color me cynical, but I doubt it uses 100% renewable energy. That will be the plan, and they’ll try to do it, but at the end of the day, wind and sunshine won’t provide all the power this facility will need. I’m all for the project, but I hope folks in Jeffersonville keep a realistic eye on this. Otherwise electricity (and water) are going to be scarce and expensive in Southern Indiana. There have been a few of these centers built in rural areas and after the bands and politicians leave town, the residents are left with the increased price of power and water. I hope it doesn’t happen here or in Fort Wayne.

  3. I’d love to see that all industries that have high water use must be required to return the water they use back to drinking water standards. Freshwater is a precious resource that all of us need.

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