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Facebook announced nearly 1 GW in new renewable contracts

08.10.20

Original article: https://pv-magazine-usa.com/20...

August 10, 2020 | Tim Sylvia

Continuing a trend of major renewable energy procurement that has been going on for more than two years, Facebook has signed contracts to buy 806 MW of solar and wind power from projects across Utah, Ohio, Illinois, Tennessee and Ireland. All of these recent contracts have been in pursuit of Facebook’s goal to be 100% renewably powered by the end of 2020.

Not only are these projects geographically diverse, but they span a wide range of developers, too, as Facebook signed the aforementioned contracts with Brookfield Renewable Partners, D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments and Apex Clean Energy.

To date, Facebook has deals for more than 5 GW of renewable electricity, with 2 GW currently operational. Since the company expects another 1.5 GW of wind and solar power to come online by the end of the year, it would seem that Facebook’s goal is not to be actively powered by 100% renewable energy come 2021, but to have enough contracts signed to achieve that goal once the projects are completed.

Outside of these 806 MW, Facebook has quite a few notable solar project investments across the United States. In New Mexico, the company has 100 MW spread across two projects to feed the Los Lunas data center. Facebook has also partnered with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) on two solar projects, totaling 377 MW, to support Facebook’s data center in Huntsville, Alabama. These 377 MW are made up of a 227-MW project in Colbert County, Alabama and a 150-MW farm in Lincoln County, Tennessee.

In November, Facebook announced two of the largest projects that the company has taken on to-date, the 300-MW Prospero Solar project in Andrews County, Texas and the 122-MW Cove Mountain 2 solar project in Iron County, Utah. Both of these projects are expected to be completed this year, however with Prospero, Facebook will not actually be buying the power generated, but instead splitting purchases of the renewable energy credits generated by the project with Shell.

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