November 5, 2018 Read More →

TVA to build 377MW of solar to power new Facebook facility

Times Free Press:

The Tennessee Valley Authority has contracted with two of the nation’s biggest solar power developers to build the largest solar installations ever built in Tennessee and Alabama to power Facebook’s new data center in Huntsville, Alabama with 100 percent renewable energy. TVA said First Solar will erect a 227-megawatt solar farm in Colbert County, Alabama and NextEra Energy Resources will build a 150-megawatt solar farm in Lincoln County, Tennessee.

The 377-megawatt output from these facilities is part of a historic agreement that TVA made with the solar providers to supply Facebook with renewable power for the $750 million data center Facebook is building in Huntsville. The 970,00-square-foot facility Facebook is building will employ about 100 workers and, as a condition of locating in Alabama, Facebook wanted to all of its electricity generated from renewable sources.

TVA spokesman Scott Fiedler said the new solar farms will nearly double the 500 megawatts of solar-generated power now purchased or generated by TVA or its distributors.

Last year, TVA asked for requests for proposals from solar companies to build the new renewable generation for Facebook. TVA has made similar commitments to Google for its data centers in Alabama and Tennessee.

“This announcement demonstrates TVA’s commitment to invest in renewable energy that attracts high-paying jobs to benefit the communities we serve,” said Doug Perry, TVA vice president of commercial energy solutions. “This partnership aligns the core values of TVA’s public power model with Facebook’s mission to bring the world closer together – powered by renewable energy.”

TVA generates nearly 10 percent of its power from its 29 hydroelectric dams, but only about 3 percent of its power comes from purchased or TVA-owned wind and solar generation at present. [T]he federal utility plans to spend $8 billion over the next two decades on renewable power, including hydro upgrades, solar, wind and geothermal energy generation.

More: TVA to build largest solar farms ever in Tennessee, Alabama

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