Facebook Helps Bring More Solar To Oregon

On Wednesday, Facebook joined Oregon officials and Pacific Power to announce that Facebook’s Prineville, Ore., data center will be supported by 100% renewable energy from new solar developments.

According to the partners, this collaboration helps fuel Prineville’s growing data center industry, supports the city’s economic growth, brings new cost-effective resources onto Pacific Power’s system and fulfills Facebook’s long-term sustainability goals.

The Pacific Power and Facebook partnership will result in 437 MW of new solar developments, including two projects totaling 100 MW in the Prineville area.

“This partnership bolsters Prineville’s 21st-century model for a small town,” says Gov. Kate Brown, D-Ore. “With projects like these, we continue to demonstrate that Oregon is ready for the clean energy economy of the future.”

“Our work with Pacific Power to develop new solar resources represents a significant milestone for our hyper-efficient Prineville data center,” says Peter Freed, Facebook’s energy strategy manager. “We are committed to supporting 100 percent renewable energy, and we are thrilled to have found a solution for our first data center. We are proud to be a part of the Prineville community and look forward to a continued partnership with the city and the state of Oregon.”

Facebook first opened the doors to its Prineville data center in 2011. Along with job growth, stronger infrastructure has come to the area, including new roads, parks and an elementary school, says Pacific Power. Further, education benefits have come from grants, including support from Facebook, and upgrades to school curriculums, including more STEM education opportunities.

“We are expanding from our timber roots to a future with greater business diversity and a workforce with broader skills,” adds Prineville’s mayor, Betty Jean Roppe. “It is through contributions and support from organizations like Facebook and Pacific Power that Prineville is growing new jobs and strengthening our schools with programs that meet the skills needs of tomorrow. This inspires new paths and opportunities for future generations, right here in town.”

“At Pacific Power, we believe in the power of partnership. As a 100-year company with a long history of serving smaller communities across Oregon, we believe progress is best achieved when business and community come together,” says Stefan Bird, president and CEO of Pacific Power. “We view this partnership as a way for Facebook to meet its sustainability goals and for Prineville and its neighboring central Oregon communities to grow and thrive while delivering cost-effective resources to all of our customers.”

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