Distributed Energy Resources

TVA, Facebook and solar developer ink large solar deal

The Tennessee Valley Authority on Aug. 13 said that the new 70-megawatt solar facility in Madison County, Tennessee, announced in February will support Facebook’s operations in the region.

TVA is partnering with Nashville-based solar developer Silicon Ranch to develop the project.

Silicon Ranch will fund construction of the solar facility and will own and operate the plant.

The facility is expected to come online in fall 2022, with planned interconnection to the TVA grid through the Jackson Energy Authority distribution system, pending environmental reviews.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with TVA and Silicon Ranch to bring this new solar facility to the grid in support of our operations in the Tennessee Valley,” said Urvi Parekh, head of Renewable Energy at Facebook. “The nearly 450 megawatts of new solar energy we are developing with TVA is an important part of our goal to support our global operations with 100% renewable energy.”

The Madison County project is part of TVA’s Green Invest program, which helps customers like Facebook meet their long-term sustainability goals with new renewable energy projects.  Since January, Green Invest has generated $1.6 billion in economic activity in TVA’s service territory.    

In 2018, TVA announced an agreement with two solar developers to build solar installations in Tennessee and Alabama at 150 and 227 MW, respectively. The output from these facilities is part of an agreement to support Facebook’s data center in Huntsville, Ala., with 100 percent renewable energy.

This month’s Facebook announcement comes on the heels of three other major Green Invest deals this year involving General Motors, Vanderbilt University and Knoxville Utilities Board.

Google unveiled major solar power agreement with TVA in 2019

In early 2019, Google said plans to purchase the output of several new solar farms for Google data center campuses under construction in Tennessee and Northern Alabama as part of a deal with TVA.

OPPD, Google and Facebook

Facebook in 2017 said that it had selected a new Nebraska wind project to supply power to the social media company’s new data center in Papillion, Neb. The Omaha Public Power District played a key role in bringing the data center to Nebraska through an innovative rate plan.

In late 2019, Google announced plans to build a $600 million data center in Papillion, Neb., making it the second company to take advantage of the OPPD rate designed to help meet the needs of large-power, high voltage transmission-level customers.

TVA and OPPD in 2018 were recognized as among the top-ranking U.S. utilities in economic development by Site Selection magazine.