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Facebook to expand New Mexico data center, upping investment to a half billion dollars

Noah Berger / AP

Facebook will build a second $250 million data center on top of an existing $250 million investment, according to an announcement from New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez. The data center has an area equal to 17 football fields. Martinez is touting the investment as a win in its effort to bring technology and energy projects to the state.

The impact: Martinez notes that the company anticipates having as many as 1,000 workers onsite at the peak of construction, as well as more full-time jobs for the expansion once complete. But it's worth remembering that once built, even the most massive of data centers aren't big sources of jobs. Generally only a relative handful of people are needed to handle management and security.

Gut Check: While $500 million is a lot of change, it's not atypical for the types of data centers built by the Facebooks, Googles and Apples of the world. Indeed, most large-scale, data-based companies build data centers around that size. Also, unlike engineering operations, which tend to be concentrated in a few tech hubs around the country, data centers tend to get built in places with cheap electricity, cheap water for cooling, and tax breaks.