Meta plans to build $800M, next-gen data center in Montgomery

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Kay Ivey speaks on May 2, 2024. (Office of Gov. Kay Ivey

MONTGOMERY, Ala.  – Governor Kay Ivey on Thursday, May 2, announced that technology company Meta Platforms plans to open an $800 million data center in Alabama’s capital city that will support 100 operational jobs and build on the company’s previous investment in the state.

Meta’s new 715,000-square-foot, AI-optimized data center will be built off Interstate 65 in Montgomery, across from the Hyundai automotive assembly plant. It will join the company’s other Alabama data center campus, located in Huntsville and representing an investment commitment of $1.5 billion.

“Each day, millions of people around the world use Meta’s products, and the next-generation Alabama data center in Montgomery will soon help keep the company’s popular platforms running smoothly,” said Ivey. “Meta is putting down roots in another great location in Sweet Home Alabama, and we’re committed to helping the company grow and prosper here.”

Governor Ivey joined Meta officials and state and local leaders at the Montgomery Whitewater facility for a ceremony today to unveil Meta’s new Alabama investment plans.

Menlo Park, California-based Meta operates Facebook, Instagram, Threads and WhatsApp, among other products and services. Meta data centers are a key part of the global infrastructure that bring these technologies and services to life.

The Montgomery data center, reflecting Meta’s latest design, will become its 24th data hub and the 20th in the United States. Once operational, the facility will be LEED Gold certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. It will be supported by 100% renewable energy and reach net zero emissions.

“We are thrilled to announce our newest data center will be located in Montgomery. The city — and our specific location — offers great access to infrastructure and renewable energy, a strong pull of talent and most importantly, an amazing set of community partners,” said Brad Davis, director of community and economic development at Meta. “We look forward to having a strong partnership for years to come.”

The Montgomery site that will house the Meta data center is already being cleared for construction to begin. More than 1,000 construction workers are expected to be onsite at the peak of construction, according to Meta.

The facility is expected to go online at the end of 2026.

“Meta is a globally recognized brand and having this world-class technology company launch another investment project in Alabama clearly demonstrates the state’s attractiveness to the high-tech sector around the world,” said Ellen McNair, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. “We look forward to building on the close relationship we’ve developed with Meta to set the stage for even more growth in our state.”

Montgomery area officials applauded Meta’s investment project and predicted it will have a massive long-term economic impact on the region.

“Meta’s decision to expand into Montgomery with a state-of-the-art data center showcases how our region is diversifying into a knowledge-based economy and highlights the competitiveness of Montgomery and our economic development team,” said Mayor Steven L. Reed. “This initiative marks a pivotal moment for Central Alabama and serves as a catalyst for our entire region’s pursuit of knowledge-based employment opportunities.”

“This project will have an enormous impact on Montgomery, and I am honored to welcome Meta to our community,” said Montgomery County Commissioner Doug Singleton. “This project is truly a victory for Montgomery as we experience continued economic growth year after year. This investment of $840 million speaks volumes to the commitment that Meta is making to the people of Montgomery. “

“The significance of this announcement being made at our Whitewater Park facility cannot be overstated,” added Singleton. “The Meta team was introduced to Montgomery Whitewater early in the recruitment process, and I am glad to see that they have chosen to come back again as this venue has become instrumental in attracting world-class businesses to our community.”

Caryn Hughes, chair of the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce, underscored the importance of collaboration among economic development agencies in bringing the Meta project to fruition and commended the local economic development team on the years of hard work it took to win this project.

“We value the significant impact such investments have on our capital city,” said Hughes. “This facility will signify an economic investment exceeding $800 million upon completion and create over 100 new knowledge-based jobs for our region.”

Meta, then known as Facebook, announced plans for its first data center in Huntsville back in 2018, and the facility began serving traffic three years later. Since then, the company has added new buildings to the campus’ footprint, expanding its workforce to over 300 operational jobs.

Meta’s sustainability practices have generated investments in renewable energy projects, and it has also supported Huntsville area schools and educational organizations with over 85 grants and sponsorships exceeding $4.2 million since 2019.