Facebook's first data center powered solely by renewable energy is now in operation in Altoona, Iowa. The center was expected to open in 2015, so it's ahead of schedule.

Facebook's enormous data centers are the humming, remote engines that make the company's services possible. They don't take up much space in the public eye, but data centers generally are enormous power sucks. The National Resources Defense Council recently released a report detailing just how critical the energy waste from tech companies' humungous facilities is, and we're seeing a push to make data centers run on as much sustainable energy as possible.


Here are some images of the newest, wind-powered facility behind your acquaintances' engagement photos and baby pictures:

And don't worry, it's not all sterile servers. This is where the Altoona workers relax, meet, and probably surreptitiously check Twitter while looking over their shoulder:

Altoona is Facebook's greenest data center, but that's not the only novel thing about it. The enormous facility uses a new approach to processing information, one Facebook calls "data center fabric." This means the data center contains many different mini-server pods. It supposedly makes it easier for the network to adjust when it grows in size.


Facebook sent me these pictures to explain it. If this is what a simplified data tool is, I am scared of what the older models looked like:

Photos courtesy of Facebook