Meta has launched its DeKalb, Illinois, data center.

Three years after construction began, the social media giant has finally finished its 2.3 million sq ft (213,677 sqm) facility.

Meta DeKalb Data Center Expansion Rendering 1.jpg
– Meta

The campus cost the company over $1 billion to complete since it was first announced in 2020, and required 1,200 skilled trade workers. According to the company, the site will provide more than 200 operational jobs in the long term.

“The people that are going to run this data center are going to be highly qualified, highly educated and well-paid individuals that I hope every single one of them wants to live in the city of DeKalb,” said Dekalb mayor Cohen Barnes.

During the construction process, Meta recycled 90 percent of its construction waste, reducing what went to the landfill by 17,600 tons. The company also invested in two wind energy projects in Illinois to add 295MW of renewable energy to the local grid.

Meta's director of data center community and economic development, Brad Davis, said: “We are currently 100 percent renewable across our global portfolio and with every new data center that gets cited online that will continue.”

In addition to the local renewable projects, Meta has partnered with Northern Illinois University to bring STEM classes to under-represented high school students, providing $290,000 dollars in grant money. In total, Meta has given $900,000 to DeKalb County schools and non-profits since 2020.

In October 2023, it was revealed that Meta's CapEx spend for Q3 2023 was only $6.8bn, around $3bn less than the previous year. This was primarily due to the company's reduced investment in servers and data center construction after it announced plans to "rescope" its data center plans.

With the company just breaking ground on the first of its new designs, the DeKalb facility will be one of the last on its former design. We profiled the new AI data center design this week.