Facebook’s Newton data centre receives 100% renewable energy

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Facebook’s new solar project will see its Newton County data centre hub powered by 100% renewable energy.

Walton Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) has signed a contract with Silicon Ranch on behalf of Facebook for a new solar project as part of its agreement to supply the renewable energy that will be used to power Facebook’s data centre in Newton County, Georgia.

Facebook chose Walton EMC as the power supplier for the Newton data centre when it announced the facility in March 2018. The facility is Facebook’s ninth data centre facility in the country.

On behalf of Facebook and Walton EMC, Silicon Ranch will fund, construct, own, operate and maintain a 107 MW facility, Snipesville II, in Denton, Georgia. The Snipesville II data centre will come online in 2021.

“We are excited to be partnering with Walton EMC and Silicon Ranch once again to bring additional solar energy to the Georgia grid,” said Urvi Parekh, Head of Renewable Energy at Facebook.

“This new project will provide additional investment in rural Georgia, help us reach our goal of 100% renewable energy for all of our operations, and further strengthen the solar market in the region.”

The construction phase of the project is expected to support more than 500 jobs, with the vast majority coming from local labour and subcontractors.

“Silicon Ranch is a proven performer,” said Walton EMC CEO Ronnie Lee. “Their first solar project to supply the Newton Data Centre, Bancroft Station, is on time and on budget.

“We are extremely happy to be working with them again in meeting Facebook’s goal of supporting their data centre with 100% renewable power.”

Snipesville II is set to employ single-axis tracking technology that allows more than 350,000 solar modules to track the sun from east to west.

“Walton EMC and the Georgia cooperatives are among the most innovative, customer-centric utilities in the country, and we are thrilled to expand our relationship with them and also with Facebook, one of the world’s leaders in renewable energy procurement,” said Silicon Ranch Co-Founder and CEO Reagan Farr.

“Moreover, we are proud to continue our substantial investments in rural Georgia and look forward to growing our partnership with Jeff Davis County.”