Meta to power US data center with 200 MW solar project


From pv magazine USA

Social media company Meta, in its ongoing quest to power all of its data centers with renewable energy, has moved into the US state of Idaho. The operator of the Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook apps has turned to a Salt Lake City-based project developer to build what could become the largest utility-scale solar project in Idaho to support its data operations in Boise, at 200 MW of power capacity.

Project developer rPlus Energies has signed a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with investor-owned utility Idaho Power to install the 200 MW Pleasant Valley Solar project in Ada County, Idaho. Upon completion, the project will be the largest solar farm in the utility’s service territory. Construction is expected to begin later this year.

“The sunshine is plentiful in Idaho – and we at rPlus Energies are proud to help the state achieve a commonsense approach to energy independence and utilize the abundant energy source to its full potential,” said Luigi Resta, president and chief executive officer of rPlus Energies.

The developer won the Pleasant Valley Solar PPA through a negotiated process with Meta and Idaho Power. The PPA was made possible by an energy services agreement that will allow Meta access to renewables to support its local operations while power also goes to the utility. Pleasant Valley will deliver clean power into the Idaho Power grid and contribute to Meta’s goal of powering 100% of its operations with clean energy.

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The developer has retained Sundt Renewables to provide engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) services for the Pleasant Valley project. The contractor has experience in the region, and has agreed to work with rPlus Energies for 280 MW of utility-scale solar projects in neighboring state Utah.

“Meta is committed to minimizing our environmental footprint in the communities where we live and work, and central to this goal is creating, building and running energy-efficient data centers supported by renewable energy,” said Urvi Parekh, head of renewable energy at Meta. “One of the core factors in selecting Idaho for our new data center location in 2022 was access to renewable energy, and Meta is proud to partner with Idaho Power and rPlus Energies to help bring even more renewable energy to the Treasure Valley grid.”

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