For a while there has been speculation as to who is building what looks to be a super data centre in Altoona.
According to the Des Moines Register, Facebook is the company behind a billion dollar data centre and the word on the street is that the building will house “the most technologically advanced data centre in the world”.
The project, dubbed Catapult, is expected to be completed in two $500 million phases near Altoona and will cover 1.4 million square feet.
It looks like it will be powered, at least partly, using wind energy. Iowa has been competing fiercely with Nebraska for the project and if it happens it will be based on what incentives the Iowa Economic Development Authority Board and Altoona’s City Council offer Facebook.
The local authorities in the region are trying to promote themselves as a “data warehouse corridor” and have been spending a fortune on fibre optic cable to support the industry. It also touts its wonderful power companies, although if Facebook wants to use windmills these are pretty redundant.