Written by: Leonard Parker | Solar News | 21st May
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), a provider of electricity for business customers and local power companies, has entered into a new Green Invest partnership with Facebook and RWE Renewables that will build a 150 MW solar facility near Millington, Tenn. Facebook will use 110 MW of the solar energy to support its data center operations in Gallatin, Tenn., and the broader Tennessee Valley.
TVA is partnering with RWE Renewables, one of the world’s largest renewable energy companies, to develop the $140 million solar farm. RWE, through a long-term power purchase agreement with TVA, will own and operate the plant using proven land stewardship techniques. Since 2018, Green Invest has attracted nearly $2.7 billion in solar investment and procured over 2,100 MW of solar on behalf of its customers.
“Bringing clean energy to Shelby County is part of our long-term community plan and is critical to support our region’s sustainability strategy,” says Doug Perry, senior vice president of commercial energy solutions at TVA. “This project is more than a solar farm – it puts people to work, revitalizes communities and makes our region an environmental leader.”
Generating more than $12 million in property tax revenue, the project will create more than 150 construction jobs, with additional employment for two to four full-time operations and maintenance staff. The facility is expected to come online in late 2023, pending environmental reviews.
In April, Facebook announced that its operations are now supported by 100% renewable energy. To support that goal, in the last year, Facebook has signed Green Invest agreements for 475 MW of new solar to be built in Tennessee, Mississippi and Kentucky. Since 2018, Facebook has agreed to purchase a total of 852 MW of power generated by multiple solar farms linked into the TVA electric grid.
TVA’s electricity is nearly 60% carbon-free, and the utility sees a bright future for solar fueling the region’s economy. Since October, TVA has increased its contracted solar capacity by 60%.
Photo: A rendering of Facebook’s $800 million data center that will cover nearly 1 million square feet