Facebook is using solar to power its new data facility

Dominion Resources is planning to install numerous solar facilities in Virginia to provide electricity for Facebook.

  • Written/Contributed by
  • Adam Johnston, Renewable Energy Analyst

According to Bloomberg, Mark Zuckerberg’s social media giant is planning to build a 1 million square foot data center close to Richmond, Virginia.

Dominion Resources is planning to install numerous solar facilities in the state to provide electricity for the center.

“Facebook will spend USD 250 million for the solar farms, and USD 750 million for the data center,” said Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe to CNN.

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The new data center is expected to add 100 full-time jobs, while Facebook is expected to get USD 19 million in state tax incentives through 2035.

“One of the many important factors in our search for a new data center location is being able to source clean and renewable energy.” said Facebook’s Director of Data CentreStrategy Rachel Peterson on CNN.

“We also look for great partnerships within the local community, robust infrastructure … and a strong pool of local talent.”

Virginia’s information technology sector has grown in the past ten years, employing 13,500 in the state and has attracted USD 12 billion in investments, according to AOL.

The announcement comes as Virginia solar capacity is growing and will reach 1.743 GW within five years.

Current capacity in Virginia is 261.2 MW, up from 192.4 MW last year, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). The solar industry in Virginia employs 3,236.

Solar is becoming an electricity choice for its data centers.

Earlier this year, Albuquerque-based Affordable Solar would provide three solar power plants for Facebook’s New Mexico data facility, totaling USD 45 million, according to DataCenterKnowlege.com

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