Facebook formally launches Papillion data center, unveils STEM initiative

PAPILLION, Neb. (WOWT) -- Here's a Facebook post you have to like. The social media giant is now up and running at its new data center in Papillion — powered by Nebraska wind.

Company officials and local leaders joined forces Thursday morning to formally make the official announcement.

Rachel Peterson, Facebook V.P. of Data Center Strategy, said, "Today we are happy to announce that Facebook's Papillion data center is now serving traffic."

That stitches Sarpy County into the "global infrastructure that brings Facebook apps and services to people around the world each day," Peterson said.

And while that adds new muscle to the company, it will also add strength to the community for years to come. She said, "Today we are also announcing a partnership with Papillion-La Vista Community Schools and the schools foundation to invest in STEM education at local high schools."

The facility is part of the pledge the company made to power its enterprises with sustainable energy. The Papillion operation is fueled by wind energy from a Dixon County, Nebraska wind farm.

Governor Pete Ricketts said all of this has meant jobs and money for the state. He said, "It's been over a billion dollar investment so far." And he said additional work remains to be done, adding to the net investment in the state.

Papillion Mayor David Black said, "Facebook is the best example I have ever seen of the community that says, 'We identify to the community where we are at. It's the Papillion Data Center. They're investing in Papillion."

He added that the investment continues beyond the city limits.

"Thank you very much for that," he said, "and welcome to Papillion."

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