Facebook’s Prineville Data Center to go 100% Renewable
by Justin Hughes
TEMPE, AZ – First Solar will develop and build a solar power plant to support Facebook’s Prineville, Oregon data center with 100 percent renewable energy, which will the latest in a series of major decision by Facebook to go totally renewable.
First Solar has inked a notable power purchase agreement (PPA) with PacifiCorp regarding the 58 megawatt ACCove Mountain Solar Project, which is situated outside of the town of Enterprise in neighboring state Utah. The Project will power Facebook’s Prineville Data Center. According to an official press release, this agreement is part of a larger deal structure that will support the data center with 100 percent renewable energy.
“We have been pleased to work with both Facebook and PacifiCorp on a collaboration that creates value for all parties,” said Eran Mahrer, First Solar’ Vice President of Markets, Origination and Government Affairs in the same press release. “This is an exciting example of how utilities and corporations are collaborating to achieve economic benefits for their stakeholders and also advance renewable energy objectives. We are proud to offer First Solar’s project development expertise to help enable this strategic relationship between PacifiCorp and Facebook.”
“We are thrilled that our Prineville Data Center will finally be supported by 100 percent renewable energy,” added Peter Freed, Energy Strategy Manager for Facebook. “We appreciate First Solar’s efforts to help us provide solar energy on the same grid as our data center.”
“First Solar has been on the leading edge of this trend, and we are well-positioned to work with corporations globally as they develop smart renewable energy strategies that leverage efficient and reliable large-scale offsite generation facilities,” noted First Solar Senior Director of Corporate Renewables Karl Brutsaert, who stressed that as clean, renewable solar energy has become one of the cheapest sources of new energy generation available in the United States, companies like Facebook are now better able to prioritize environmental commitments while simultaneously making smart economic decisions.
“This project exemplifies an exciting opportunity for solar development to support economic development in both rural Utah and Oregon. As a U.S. manufacturer, we are thrilled to facilitate this type of regional development, which helps create good-paying construction and manufacturing jobs,” said Vice President of Project Development at First Solar Kathryn Arbeit.
First Solar will begin construction on the Cove Mountain Solar Project in late 2019, and commissioning should occur in late 2020. First Solar predicts that around 200 construction jobs will be created, with the potential of 500 jobs in total. The project will utilize First Solar’s Series 6 thin film modules, which are mounted on single-axis trackers. First Solar Energy Services plans to provide operations and maintenance services for the facility once ready for operation.