Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made a surprise appearance Friday night in Prineville, Ore., at a community party for the grand opening of his company’s new data center.

He told a crowd of about 300 people that building the data center “is a massive step up for us from the leased space that we’ve been operating out of before.”

Facebook is also in the process of building a huge new data center in western North Carolina.

KTVZ says other Facebook officials joined state and local leaders earlier in the day for the official opening.

Facebook says the custom-built data center uses 38 percent less energy to do the same work as the company’s existing facilities.

The social media company has said the North Carolina plant is designed to operate at similar levels.

(Read more about the N.C. and oregon data centers here.)

Servers inside data centers are the backbone of Internet services such as Facebook. They store and transmit billions of status updates, links and photos used by the social networking site’s members.

Get the latest news alerts: Follow WRAL Tech Wire at Twitter.