Facebook plans 58-MW solar project for Oregon data center

A solar power plant developed and to be built by First Solar will help support Facebook’s Prineville, Oregon, data center with 100% renewable energy.

Through a power purchase agreement (PPA) with PacifiCorp, the 58-MWac Cove Mountain Solar Project located near Enterprise, Utah, will generate renewable energy that will support Facebook’s Prineville Data Center. This agreement is part of a larger deal structure that will support the data center with 100% 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. “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% renewable energy,” said Peter Freed, Facebook energy strategy manager. “We appreciate First Solar’s efforts to help us provide solar energy on the same grid as our data center.”

First Solar senior director of corporate renewables Karl Brutsaert noted 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 able to meet their environmental commitments while making smart economic decisions.

“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,” said Brutsaert.

“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 First Solar vice president of project development Kathryn Arbeit.

The Cove Mountain Solar Project will utilize First Solar’s Series 6 thin film modules mounted on single-axis trackers. First Solar expects to begin construction on the project in late 2019, and estimates an average of approximately 200 construction jobs with potential peak construction jobs of nearly 500. Commissioning is expected in late 2020. First Solar Energy Services expects to provide operations and maintenance services when the project is commissioned.

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