Three new utility-scale solar facilities from Walton Electric Membership Corp. (EMC), a consumer-owned utility, and Silicon Ranch, an independent power producer, are now generating carbon-free renewable energy to help support Meta’s (formerly the Facebook company) operations in Georgia.
The three projects total 287 MW AC of solar generation and are located in three different counties in the southwestern and southeastern parts of the state. Silicon Ranch funded the construction and will own, operate and maintain the arrays.
Silicon Ranch partnered with IEA to construct the 100 MW AC Lumpkin Solar Farm. They are working with McCarthy Building Companies to build the 80 MW AC Lancaster Solar Farm and the 107 MW AC Snipesville II Solar Farm.
The solar facilities are part of an ongoing collaboration between Walton EMC and Silicon Ranch to supply 100% renewable energy for Meta’s data center in Newton County, Ga. Walton EMC and Silicon Ranch have now completed the installation of six projects totaling 435 MW AC on behalf of Meta, catalyzing meaningful investments in six separate rural communities across the state.
With the first six solar projects now in commercial operation, Silicon Ranch has begun construction of the partners’ seventh project together, the DeSoto I Solar Farm, a 125 MW AC facility located in Lee County. In October, state and local officials joined Walton EMC and Silicon Ranch to break ground on the facility. Once complete, DeSoto I will bring the total capacity of the partners’ portfolio to 560 MW AC of new renewable generation in Georgia.
“In 2018, Meta, Morgan Stanley, and Walton EMC came together to design a landmark energy supply agreement for Meta’s Newton Data Center, and over the past three years we have worked shoulder to shoulder with Silicon Ranch to honor the commitments we made,” says Ronnie Lee, Walton EMC’s CEO. “The past two years especially have introduced unprecedented challenges, including a pandemic and severe disruptions to the global supply chain, and so on behalf of our Board of Directors and the entire team at Walton EMC, I want to express our sincere appreciation to Silicon Ranch for their steadfast dedication to deliver these world-class facilities right on schedule.”
“Silicon Ranch is honored by the confidence and trust that Walton EMC and Meta continue to place in our company to execute on their behalf, and we thank all the men and women at IEA, McCarthy, and Georgia Transmission Corporation who supported our efforts and helped us continue this important economic development work across the state of Georgia,” states Reagan Farr, Silicon Ranch’s co-founder and CEO.
Each project in the portfolio, including the facility under construction in Lee County, will integrate Silicon Ranch’s transformative Regenerative Energy model, an approach to design, construction and operations that co-locates renewable energy production with regenerative agriculture practices.
“We are thrilled that these new solar projects are now online and will help us continue to meet our goal of supporting our data center in Newton County with 100 percent renewable energy,” comments Urvi Parekh, head of renewable energy at Meta. “We thank Silicon Ranch and Walton EMC for their continued partnership, for their dedication to successful execution, and for sharing our commitment to have a positive impact on the communities where we locate.”