Facebook’s 102.5 MW Solar Farm Commissioned in Georgia

Facebook’s first solar project in the state of Georgia, the 102.5 megawatts (MW) solar farm is now operational in Early County.

102.5 MW Solar

Facebook‘s first solar project in the state of Georgia is now operational in Early County. Facebook representatives joined Walton Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) and Silicon Ranch to “flip the switch” on the 102.5 megawatts (MW) solar farm in a special ceremony at the project site.

Facebook chose Walton EMC as the power supplier for its data centre in Newton County when it announced the facility in March 2018. As part of its agreement to supply 100 percent renewable energy for the Newton Data Center, Walton EMC announced a contract in December 2018 with Silicon Ranch, the US solar platform for Shell and one of the nation’s largest independent solar power producers.

The resulting solar project has yielded tangible economic benefits across the state. To support Facebook’s data center and corresponding investments in Newton County, Silicon Ranch employed more than 675 people in Early County over the past ten months to assemble and install single-axis trackers that utilise NEXTracker’s TrueCapture smart control system, enabling more than 350,000 solar modules to track the sun from east to west across more than 1,200 acres. The locally-sourced modules were among the first produced by Hanwha Q CELLS at its new manufacturing facility in Whitfield County, which is the largest of its kind in the Western Hemisphere.

“This project is representative of the cooperative approach to economic development across our state that has made Georgia a leader in innovative fields like solar energy,” said Governor Brian P. Kemp.

The solar farm is Silicon Ranch’s first new-build site to incorporate its holistic approach to land management, which it has trademarked as Regenerative Energy. The innovative approach keeps the property in agricultural production, as adaptively-managed grazing livestock, diverse plant life, pollinator habitat, and wildlife work together to revitalise degraded soils, enhance biodiversity, make ecosystems more resilient, improve the watershed, and sequester carbon in the soil.

“We are committed to supporting all of Facebook’s operations with 100 percent renewable energy, and we are thrilled that this new solar project will help us meet that goal for our Newton Data Center,” said Urvi Parekh, Head of Renewable Energy at Facebook. “We thank Silicon Ranch and Walton EMC for their continued partnership and for sharing our commitment to having a positive impact on the communities where we locate.”

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Ayush Verma

Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at saurenergy.com and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for iamrenew.com.

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