Social media giant Facebook has taken another step forward to make its operations greener in North America and in Europe.
Over in the US, the company is to invest in a 120 MW solar farm in Utah to help power its hyperscale data centre campus in Eagle Mountain, just south of Salt Lake City.
The farm is to be built by energy business Rocky Mountain Power and developed in Iron County by rPlus Energies on behalf of Facebook.
The Appaloosa solar project will be developed under Rocky Mountain Power’s Schedule 34 green energy tariff, which allows large customers to purchase renewable energy generated on their behalf.
Once operational by the end of 2023, the new farm will bring the total amount of in-state solar energy signed to support Facebook’s regional data centres to 814 MW – equivalent to 53% of the current net summer capacity of solar generation in Utah per Energy Information Administration estimates.
Urvi Parekh, head of renewable energy at Facebook, said: “Utah has been a great home for our data centre, and we are proud to help add new solar energy to the electrical grid.
“Our goal is to continue to support all of our operations with 100% renewable energy and this partnership with rPlus Energies and Rocky Mountain Power helps us achieve that.”
Also commenting, Luigi Resta, rPlus Energies CEO, said: “We look forward to helping Rocky Mountain Power and Facebook tap both the excellent solar capacity and talent available in Iron County.
“Our team is proud of our history in Iron County, helping to diversify and modernize the county’s energy mix through utility-scale solar development. We look forward to continuing to work with the community through project construction, with a focus on energizing the economy through local hiring and local subcontractors.”
Over in Europe, Facebook has joined the EU Climate Pact and outlined four pledges for how it will help people take action against climate change and build a greener Europe.
The European Commission-run Climate Pact was created to encourage Europeans to learn about climate change and develop, implement, and scale solutions.
In signing the Climate Pact, Facebook is committing to four ways it will act against climate change. These are:
- Support Facebook’s operations in Europe and globally with 100% renewable energy and achieve net-zero emissions for the company’s global value chain in 2030.
- Amplify authoritative climate science information in Europe through the Climate Science Information Center, which provides facts from climate researchers that correct common misconceptions about global warming and its impact. Facebook said it will also continue to support research on climate change through our Data for Good program, such as the new Climate Change Opinion Survey.
- Support Europeans through investments in education and sustainability innovation through the Data Center Community Skills programme, which includes the Young Entrepreneurs programme in Sweden.
- Share learnings and tactics to support other businesses in Europe with their transition to net zero emissions. This will include working with RE-Source, a European corporate platform for renewable energy procurement, in its effort to reduce the barriers to cost competitive renewable energy and the Green Boost Programme.