Site preparation is under way for an $800-million data center in Montgomery for technology giant Meta that is designed to have net-zero operational carbon emissions. Hensel Phelps will construct the 715,000-sq-ft AI-optimized facility across Interstate 65 from Hyundai’s automotive assembly plant. 

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) announced Meta’s plans May 2, saying the facility will join Meta’s $1.5-billion Huntsville, Ala., data center that opened in 2021. The Montgomery building will be Meta’s 24th data hub and its 20th in the U.S., according to Ivy’s announcement.

The project will involve more than 1,000 construction workers. Completion is expected in late 2026. 

“The city and our specific location offer great access to infrastructure and renewable energy, a strong pull of talent and most importantly, an amazing set of community partners,” said Brad Davis, Meta’s director of community and economic development, in a statement. 

The project is seeking LEED Gold certification. Plans call for the data center to be completely powered by renewable energy. The goal is for net-zero operational-carbon emissions. 

Meta says the data center will also minimize water use via cooling technology that’s significantly more water-efficient, including water-conserving fixtures. The data center will also have a rainwater capture system and native and drought-resistant vegetation. 

At its Huntsville data center, Meta also captures stormwater for reuse and recirculates gray water before it’s discharged. Meta also worked with the Tennessee Valley Authority to meet its 100% renewable energy goals in Huntsville, supporting a new solar energy project.  

Meta also announced earlier this year that Turner Construction Co. is the contractor for its $800-million data center in Jeffersonville, Ind., the company’s 18th domestic data center. That project, also set to be done in 2026, is roughly 700,000 sq ft. It also is aiming for LEED Gold certification and 100% renewable energy usage.