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AWS, Meta spending big on data center builds

Cloud roundup: AWS is investing $10 billion into a data center complex in Mississippi; electricity consumption by data centers will double over the next three years; and Meta plans to spend $800 million on a data center complex in Indiana.

Kelsey Ziser

January 29, 2024

2 Min Read
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Source: Phil Harvey/Alamy Stock Photo

AWS spends $10 billion on data centers in Mississippi

To support growing demand for AI projects, AWS plans to spend $10 billion on two data center complexes in Mississippi, according to Reuters. The Madison County-based data centers are expected to create about 1,000 jobs in Mississippi.

On a national level, AWS has invested $108 billion in infrastructure in the US, and Amazon spent $2.3 billion in Mississippi prior to this most recent announcement, according to Tech Radar. The company's existing infrastructure in Mississippi includes fulfillment centers, delivery stations, and solar and wind farms.

AWS also recently announced a planned data center investment of over $15 billion in Japan. Google is investing $1 billion in a data center on a 33-acre site outside of London, reported Reuters earlier this month.

Electricity consumption from data centers, AI and cryptocurrency to double by 2026

By 2026, the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts that the data center, AI and cryptocurrency sectors could double their electricity consumption. Data centers used about 460 terawatt-hours (TWh) in 2022 and could consume more than 1,000 TWh in 2026, according to a report by the IEA.

To put it in perspective, that energy consumption is nearly equal to use by Japan.

Related:The public cloud has failed to crack telecom

"Updated regulations and technological improvements, including on efficiency, will be crucial to moderate the surge in energy consumption from data centers," said the IEA.

Data center energy consumption has remained relatively flat over the past few years, hovering at around 1% to 1.5%, and "almost flat compared to the global energy consumption," Moises Levy, Ph.D., a senior principal analyst at Omdia, told Light Reading in 2023.

Worldwide, there are 8,000 data centers, with about 33% in the US, 16% in Europe, and nearly 10% in China, according to Bloomberg.

"Data centers are one of the most energy-intensive building types, consuming 10 to 50 times the energy per floor space of a typical commercial office building," according to the Department of Energy.

On the bright side, low-emission sources of electricity – such as renewables, solar, wind, hydro and nuclear power – are forecasted to amount to about half of global electricity generation by 2026, said the IEA. That's up from just below 40% in 2023.  

Meta invests $800 million in data center for genAI

Meta plans to build a data center focused on supporting generative AI workloads in Indiana for $800 million, according to Network World. The 700,000-square-foot data center is expected to be completed by 2026 and will utilize direct-to-chip liquid cooling technology.

The data center is expected to be 100% supported by renewable energy and meet LEED Gold certification.

This will be Meta's 22nd data center globally and the 18th in the US, according to Indiana Business.

About the Author(s)

Kelsey Ziser

Senior Editor, Light Reading

Kelsey is a senior editor at Light Reading, co-host of the Light Reading podcast, and host of the "What's the story?" podcast.

Her interest in the telecom world started with a PR position at Connect2 Communications, which led to a communications role at the FREEDM Systems Center, a smart grid research lab at N.C. State University. There, she orchestrated their webinar program across college campuses and covered research projects such as the center's smart solid-state transformer.

Kelsey enjoys reading four (or 12) books at once, watching movies about space travel, crafting and (hoarding) houseplants.

Kelsey is based in Raleigh, N.C.

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