Meta Data Center coming to Kuna

Meta Kuna Data Center rendering
Posted at 11:26 AM, Feb 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-17 07:15:21-05

A new data center for Meta, formerly the Facebook Company, will open in Kuna.

The City of Kuna and Meta announced its newest data center represents an investment of $800 million, according to a news release from the city.

"We are excited to welcome Meta to Idaho and the Treasure Valley," Idaho Department of Commerce Director Tom Kealey said in a statement. "Meta’s large investment in Kuna means great new jobs and innovation opportunities for the city and our state. We look forward a long, successful relationship with Meta and other stakeholders."

The city announced the new center will bring 100 operational jobs to Kuna, with 1,200 jobs at "peak" construction. The center will be more than 960,000 square-feet and will break ground in September of 2022, with work anticipated to go through 2025.

"We are thrilled to be breaking ground on our newest data center in Kuna, Idaho. Thank you to all of our partners who helped us move this project forward,” Darcy Nothnagle, director of community and economic development at Meta, said in a statement. "Kuna is a great place to call home and we are committed to investing in the community’s long-term vitality. We look forward to having a strong, fruitful partnership for years to come."

Kuna small business owner, Aaron Hudson said he thinks this will be good for the Kuna community.

"It's going to finish modernizing kuna into like a real community of its own instead of maybe like a sleeper community or a place that we commute into Boise from," he said.

Hudson isn't the only one who thinks meta's new data center will help the community grow. Kuna's mayor, Joe Stear, said moving the city away from being a bedroom community has been a goal, one this announcement makes progress on.

"We have worked very long and hard to figure out a way to create an industrial zone and an industrial park that actually works for the city. Meta has made that possible," Stear said.

Meta said the positions they'll be hiring for range in industry.

"The kinds of skills and job profiles that we're looking for really run the gammet. It's everything from computer programmers to electrical engineers to hvac specialists, to security, to culinary, to landscaping," Nothnagle said.

Idaho Department of Commerce: years of work brought this project to the Treasure Valley

The Idaho Department of Commerce said years of work have gone into bringing this project to the treasure valley, which will be located in East Kuna near Kuna Mora Rd. and Cole Rd.

"We've worked with meta for a number of years confidentially. And they've chosen this site," Keeley said.

Nothnagle said there are a number of reasons Meta chose Kuna for the data center site.

"When we look at locating a data center. We look at a whole bunch of different factors. We want a place that has reliable access to infrastructure, renewable energy, a great workforce and great community partners and we found all of that here in kuna," she said.

The company also announced it will be investing $50 million in Kuna via a new water and sewer system for the city. The Meta Data Center is planning to be supported fully by renewable energy sources connected to Idaho Power's system, according to the news release.

“Kuna welcomes Meta to our city and values their commitment to our community,” said Kuna Mayor Joe Stear in a statement. “As the first large anchor in the city’s East Kuna Industrial area, their infrastructure investment is a catalyst for expanding the city’s ability to support well-paying jobs and attract other industrial and manufacturing users the Kuna.”

2020 Law made the project possible

The Department of Commerce also said a tax exemption the State Legislature passed in 2020 helped to make this data center possible. The law provides a tax exemption on server equipment and construction materials for data centers that come to Idaho.

Keeley said data centers have been a focus for several reasons, "Data centers bring about innovation, they bring about a lot of investment with high-paying jobs to the communities and the partners with the data centers, those owners tend to be very good with the community in terms of helping in a variety of ways to increase educational opportunities, workforce training."

Meta says they plan to do just these types of things.

"That includes being good partners with the school district, it includes supporting small businesses and the chamber of commerce and it includes being great partners to nonprofits all around Ada County," William Marks, a community development manager for Meta, said.

Idaho News 6 news partners BoiesDev report the data center will service Meta-owned brands including Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus and more.