The social media giant’s original Utah scheme in a different location was rejected in 2016, but this one is very much alive after being approved last year.
Facebook’s new $750m data centre in Utah will be powered with solar energy from a new Power Purchase Agreement. First Solar’s (Nasdaq: FSLR) new Cove Mountain 2 solar power plant will support Facebook’s Eagle Mountain data centre in Utah, through a PPA with Rocky Mountain Power, a division of PacifiCorp and part of Berkshire Hathaway Energy.
The new 122MW solar power facility is being built near the town of Enterprise in Iron County, Utah, and is scheduled to begin operations in 2020. It is located near the 58MW Cove Mountain power plant, which will also supply renewable energy for Facebook’s operations.
Cove Mountain 2 will supply clean solar energy to Facebook under the Schedule 34 Renewable Energy Tariff, which enables customers to work with Rocky Mountain Power to meet their renewable energy goals by facilitating the construction and contracting of new renewable energy projects.
“This project is an important part of our commitment to support all of our data centres and offices with 100% of renewable energy in 2020,” said Paul Clements, director of energy and infrastructure at Facebook. “Working with First Solar and Rocky Mountain Power allows us to ensure that our data centre will be supported by new renewable energy resources – like this solar power plant – in the same electrical grid as our data centre.”
“Combining First Solar’s project development and technology expertise with Rocky Mountain Power’s utility experience allows us to create value for Facebook by enabling its commitment to support its operations with renewable energy,” said Gary Hoogeveen, president and CEO of Rocky Mountain Power.
Once operational, said First Solar, Cove Mountain 2 is expected to generate electricity that is equivalent to the energy needs of 36,000 average Utah homes, while displacing 235,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, equivalent to removing 46,000 cars from the road. It will also save 800m litres of water annually, based on Utah averages.
The project will be powered by high-performance Series 6 modules, manufactured by First Solar in the US.
Eagle Mountain is the third largest city in Utah in terms of land mass behind Salt Lake City and Provo.