Consumer-owned Georgia utility Walton Electric Membership Corp. (EMC) has executed contracts with Strata Solar and Silicon Ranch for three new solar projects as part of an agreement to supply 100% renewable energy to Facebook’s data center in Newton County, Ga.
When announcing the 970,000-square-foot data center in March, Facebook chose Walton EMC as the power supplier for the facility. The total investment of Silicon Ranch and Strata Solar will reach more than $230 million for the solar projects, totaling more than 200 MW AC.
The Silicon Ranch project, located in Early County, is expected to total 102.5 MW AC and be completed in 2019. Deploying locally produced solar modules from Hanwha Q CELLS’ new manufacturing facility in Georgia, the project will create 400 construction jobs.
The Strata Solar projects, located in Calhoun and Colquitt counties, are sized at 80 MW AC and 20 MW AC, respectively. To be completed in 2020, these projects are also expected to create 400 construction jobs.
“We are happy to welcome Silicon Ranch and Strata Solar to the quality partnership of Facebook, Walton EMC and Morgan Stanley to complete the groundbreaking energy supply arrangement for Facebook’s Newton Data Center,” says Ronnie Lee, CEO of Walton EMC. “Our unique agreements will serve as models for similar projects all across the country and bring noteworthy economic rewards locally.”
“We are thrilled to be working with Walton EMC, Silicon Ranch and Strata Solar to bring more than 200 MW of new solar resources to Georgia,” notes Rachel Peterson, vice president of data center strategy for Facebook. “We are committed to supporting all of Facebook’s operations with 100 percent renewable energy, and these new solar facilities will help us meet that goal for our Newton Data Center. Developing these resources within the same electric grid that supports our data center will bring even more investment to the region.”