Facebook confirms data center near Arctic Circle

STOCKHOLM (AP) ? Facebook says its new server farm on the edge of the Arctic Circle ? its first outside the U.S. ? will improve performance for European users of the social networking site.

Facebook confirmed Thursday it had picked the northern Swedish city of Lulea for the data center partly because of the cold climate ? crucial for keeping the servers cool ? and access to renewable energy from nearby hydropower facilities.

Facebook director of site operations Tom Furlong told the AP that “European users will get better performance from having a data center closer to them.”

He said Facebook currently stores data at sites in California, Virginia and Oregon and is building another facility in North Carolina. The Lulea data center is scheduled for completion by 2014.