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Facebook will build its next data center in Rutherford County, North Carolina, planning to invest about $450m in the project. This is the second publically announced data center the social-networking company will be building and operating on its own. The first one – in Prineville, Oregon – is expected to come online in the first quarter of 2011.

Announcement of the North Carolina project was made by the office of the state’s Governor Bev Perdue, which expects it to create more than 250 construction and mechanical jobs for the 18-month construction period and about 35-45 full-time and contract positions.

"We are proud that Facebook chose to make North Carolina a friend," Perdue said in a statement. "The feeling is certainly mutual. The investment and jobs at the data center will be a boon to that region of the state and will help confirm North Carolina’s distinction as a global business destination."

Already home to data centers by such technology giants as Apple, Google and IBM, the state worked for about one year to ensure availability of land, utilities and tax incentives to make the Facebook project a reality.

Perdue’s news release quoted Facebook’s Director of Site Operations Tom Furlong as saying his team was grateful to North Carolina officials for committing time and effort to "making this happen."

The data center will be designed to the US Green Building Council’s LEED Gold standards. The facilities infrastructure will employ energy-efficient cooling and power-management technologies.

After years of using only commercial colocation facilities to house its infrastructure, Facebook announced in early 2010 that it will build its own data center in Oregon to be able to have infrastructure that is tailored to its purposes. The second phase of construction at the Prineville site commenced in August and is expected to be completed early in 2012. Together, the two phases will measure more than 300,000 sq ft.

Ken Patchett, who oversees the Oregon project, told DatacenterDynamics FOCUS in June that Facebook had no plans to get rid of its colocation footprint, including facilities in California and Virginia.