Facebook on Tuesday announced its fourth owned and operated datacenter will be in Altoona, Iowa. The company plans to “break ground” this summer and begin serving user traffic in 2014.

If you’re wondering why Iowa, Facebook notes the state has an “abundance of wind-generated power” and is home to “a great talent pool that will help build and operate the facility.” For those keeping count, Altoona becomes number four after Prineville, Oregon; Forest City, North Carolina; and Luleå, Sweden. The data center will thus also be the third one for the company in the US.

altoona 730x410 Facebook announces its fourth owned datacenter in Altoona, Iowa, will begin serving user traffic in 2014

Just like the others, the Altoona facility will also feature the company’s Open Compute Project server designs and outdoor-air cooling system. Yet Facebook says it also incorporate “evolutionary improvements” to the building design, networking architecture, and more. Facebook also claims that Altoona “will be among the most advanced and energy efficient facilities of its kind” when it is complete.

The news that Facebook’s next data center would be in Iowa was first broken by the Des Moines Register on Saturday. As noted in subsequent reports, the facility will be the third major Internet data center project in the state, after the Google one in Council Bluffs and the Microsoft one in West Des Moines.

Facebook explains why it needs to keep building bigger and better data centers as its userbase expands and they continue to interact with more content:

In the coming years, as our service continues to grow and people share and connect in more ways, we need to make sure that our technical infrastructure also continues to scale. Our goal is not just to deliver you a fast, reliable experience on Facebook every day – we also want to help make connectivity a universal opportunity. Our data centers are essential for making that happen.

In fact, Facebook goes as far as to say Altoona will help in its push “to bring the next billion people online.” That won’t be an easy task.

See also – Facebook passes 1.06 billion monthly active users, 680 million mobile users, and 618 million daily users

Top Image Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images