Alabama’s largest solar farm to power Facebook in Huntsville
TVA will build Alabama’s largest solar energy installation in Colbert County, a clean energy initiative that will help power the Facebook data center under construction in Huntsville.
TVA on Friday announced it has agreed with two solar developers to build two installations in Alabama and Tennessee, which together will support the data center with 100 percent renewable energy. Together, the two installations will generate 377 megawatts of electricity, TVA said.
The Colbert County facility will produce 227 megawatts – almost three times the production of the state’s current largest solar farm near LaFayette in east Alabama.
“TVA’s commitment to the environment and our diverse portfolio are among the top reasons why businesses choose to relocate to the Valley,” John Bradley, TVA’s senior vice president of Economic Development, said in the announcement. “TVA’s ability to deliver large amounts of renewable, reliable energy at competitive rates makes the Valley an attractive place to do business and recruit quality jobs.”
Facebook announced in June it would build a $750 million data center in the North Huntsville Industrial Park, creating about 100 jobs in the first phase. The social media giant has also expressed interest in purchasing additional land in the park, which could allow the project to expand.
Facebook has committed to support all of its data centers and offices with 100 percent renewable energy by 2020, according to the TVA announcement. Through a partnership with TVA, the company’s first Valley-based facility will be powered with 100 percent renewable energy, split between two locations subject to appropriate environmental reviews:
First Solar – 227 megawatts in Colbert County, Alabama.
NextEra Energy Resources – 150 megawatts in Lincoln County, Tennessee.
“Solar power has a bright future for families in the Tennessee Valley if we can continue to attract top-tier companies like Facebook,” Doug Perry, TVA vice president of Commercial Energy Solutions, said.
TVA is planning to invest $8 billion in renewable energy over the next 20 years.
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