Facebook, which has pledged to support all of its operations with renewable energy, has spurred the development of another solar energy farm in Mississippi to help support the two Facebook data centers in the Tennessee Valley.
The Tennessee Valley Authority announced Thursday that through its Green Invest program Facebook has agreed to buy the energy from its fourth solar farm. The newest project is a 150-megawatt solar and 50-megawatt battery storage facility in Lowndes County, Mississippi which is being developed by the Florida-based Origis Energy.
Origis, through a long-term power purchase agreement with TVA that was signed on Facebook’s behalf, will own and operate the plant. The project will create more than 250 construction jobs, with additional employment for 3-5 full-time operations and maintenance staff. Origis will complete the facility in late 2023, pending environmental reviews.
“This is our second utility-scale solar facility in Mississippi with TVA, and it demonstrates the success of Green Invest in connecting local communities, private business and public power through renewable energy,” said Vanhee, Origis Energy chief commercial officer and chief procurement officer.
Under the Green Invest program, TVA allows its customers to be supplied with electricity generated entirely from solar, wind or other renewable energy sources and pay the effective costs for such generation. Most of the new solar farms are being built by private developers and sold to TVA, which in turn delivers the power to companies participating in the Green Invest program.
TVA has obtained agreements so far for 2,139 megawatts of solar generation through the Green Invest program, which is involved in $1.4 billion of business development from companies wanting only renewable power, TVA spokesman Scott Fiedler said.
“Our region is ready for companies who want to use renewable energy to achieve their sustainability goals,” said Chris Hansen, TVA vice president of origination and renewables. “Green Invest is more than a renewables program; when businesses relocate here, jobs are created and people can find work – revitalizing both rural and urban communities.”