A new $140 million solar farm in Shelby County, Tennessee is to power Facebook’s data center in the state.
The Tennessee Valley Authority this week announced a partnership with Facebook and energy company RWE Renewables that will build a 150MW solar facility near Millington.
The new solar farm will provide Facebook with 110MW of energy to support data center operations in Gallatin, Tennessee, and the broader Tennessee Valley. The facility is expected to come online in late 2023.
“Facebook’s mission is to connect the world, and the connections we made with TVA and RWE will ensure our operations in the Tennessee Valley are supported with new solar energy,” said Urvi Parekh, head of Renewable Energy at Facebook.
“This solar project, which is our third in Tennessee, will help us continue our commitment of 100 percent renewable energy for our global operations, while also bringing new investment and jobs to the local community.”
RWE, through a long-term power purchase agreement with TVA, will own and operate the plant.
“RWE is a global renewable energy leader, and we are excited to develop one of the world’s most advanced solar farms in Shelby County,” said Silvia Ortin, COO of Onshore Wind and Solar PV Americas for RWE Renewables. “Through TVA Green Invest, the clean energy generated from this site will fuel jobs locally and across the state and help Facebook achieve its carbon reduction goals.”
The Tennessee Valley has been a popular spot with data center operators looking for renewable projects, especially Facebook. Earlier this year the company signed another deal with the TVA to see a solar farm in Logan County provide the social network with 145MW of renewable energy. The company also signed a mega 377MW deal with the TVA in 2018. Google has made similar largescale renewable deals with the TVA in the past.
Last month Facebook also announced that, as of 2020, Facebook’s operations were supported by 100 percent renewable energy and the company had reached net-zero emissions. The company says it has contracts in place for more than 6GW of wind and solar energy across 18 states and five countries, with all 63 projects located on the same electrical grids as the data centers they support.
“We've reached net-zero emissions for our operations and we're one of the largest buyers of renewable energy in the world - resulting in $8 billion invested in 63 wind and solar projects around the world, creating tens of thousands of jobs,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post on his site. “Thanks to our team and partners who helped reach this goal!”