Facebook is set to build a new data center in Eagle Mountain that will span nearly one million square feet and represent a $750 million investment in the city.
Eagle Mountain has worked for nearly a decade to lure data centers to the city — a plan officials say works well for the more isolated area. While Eagle Mountain can’t competitively draw other industries, the city — geographically the third-largest in the state — is a perfect fit for data centers that require a lot of land but not too many new employees.
While the data center, which is set to be completed by 2020, will most likely only bring in about 30 to 50 jobs, officials say that low number is best for the city so there is no significant impact on local resources like schools, police services or traffic. The city will also see a 1,000 percent return on investment, according to a fiscal impact study commissioned by the city.
Facebook has promised to spend at least $100 million to expand the city’s infrastructure to accommodate the project. This investment would, in turn, expand infrastructure in all of Cedar Valley and increase the county’s power grid by an anticipated 48 percent.
The data center will be powered by 100 percent net-new renewable energy through utilization of Rocky Mountain power renewable energy tariffs, and Facebook will purchase its own water rights and construct the required water infrastructure with money from its own pocket.
The state would grant Facebook an estimated $150 million in tax breaks for the project’s first phase, with taxes waived for up to 20 years per phase. Those tax breaks may include hundreds of millions of more dollars if the company decides to continue to build on its lot.
The officials who voted on the project chose to approve it if the state could implement a 40-year cap on the agreement.
The data center in its first phase would increase property taxes currently collected for the 490-acre site by 12,000 times. The project will benefit the city, county, Alpine School District, Central Utah Water Conservancy District and Unified Fire Service Area, officials said.
The data center is set for construction at the Sweetwater Industrial Park between a mink farm and water treatment facility.