In what would be one of the largest construction projects in Minnesota's recent history, Meta Platforms Inc. plans to build a $700 million data center in Rosemount.

Meta, parent company of Facebook, confirmed in a Friday filing with the state Public Utilities Commission (PUC) that it is the parent company of Amber Kestral, the firm that filed the project with the state. The PUC must approve electric contracts with Xcel Energy regarding the project.

The project — which Meta plans to power with renewable energy — is planned for 280 acres of UMore Park property along County Road 42 next to Dakota County Technical College. The University of Minnesota Board of Regents' finance and operations committee will vote on the $39.7 million land sale at its meeting Thursday.

The project still has several steps before it is finalized, and a timetable has not been laid out publicly. Meta representatives were unavailable for comment Friday afternoon.

Rosemount Mayor Jeff Weisensel, who said the city is still under a nondisclosure agreement regarding the identity of the company, said the project as outlined would be "significant" for the city.

For one, as the U sells pieces of UMore for development, the land goes on the tax rolls, "key to the city's future," he said.

"We're looking forward to a firm that appreciates ... the emerging technology and innovation that we're trying to attract," Weisensel said.

In November 2022, Xcel filed with the PUC details of how the project would create 1,000 construction jobs and at least 50 full-time jobs. The data center, the filing said, would be for the company's own operations.

Data centers contain thousands of computer servers that store and process reams of information. They usually run around the clock and use enormous amounts of power, making them prime customers for electric utilities.

Xcel Energy must receive PUC approval for the power contracts for the project.

In a separate project, Xcel also has asked the commission for approval to sell 348 acres of its Sherburne County land by the Becker coal plants to Elk River Technologies, which appears to be a company created specifically for the project.

That project would cost up to $1 billion, according to filings.

Xcel said on Friday that it had no updates on the Elk River project.

An Xcel spokesman said Meta would have to provide any further details on the Rosemount project.

"Xcel Energy is committed to helping the communities we serve prosper," the utility company said in a statement. "We collaborate with businesses looking to expand their footprint as well as state, regional and local organizations to bring about economic growth and job creation."

Google also planned a data center in Minnesota near the coal plants but backed out.

Xcel said several Minnesota entities are working on the Meta project, including Dakota County, Greater MSP and the state Department of Employment and Economic Development. The city of Rosemount already voted to rezone the land from agriculture to business park use, paving the way for the potential sale.

Meta already has put down $950,000 toward the $39.7 million cost, according to the agenda for next week's meeting. It will incur the full cost of land development, except for the cost of relocating a university water line.

The money would go to the UMore Park Legacy Fund, the agenda said.

The UMore land has been marketed for several years. The Amber Fields housing subdivision is going up on 348 acres of UMore land, helping to fuel further commercial development along County Road 42.

A Life Time fitness center is planned for the north side of the street, and on the east side of Hwy. 52, a Federal Express distribution center, according to the city's economic development updates.

Weisensel said he is "cautiously optimistic" about the data center project in Rosemount because he knows there are several more steps in the process, and the company could back out still if economic conditions worsen.