Tennessee Valley Authority will manage development and operations of the 150MW/50MW solar-plus-storage facility
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in the US has announced that it will develop a solar-plus-storage facility to power two data centers owned by Facebook in Mississippi. The facility is being developed in partnership with Origis Energy via a long-term power purchase agreement that TVA has signed on behalf of Facebook. The facility is being planned as a 150MW solar power plant augmented with a 50MW battery storage unit. Origis Energy and TVA are hopeful that the project’s construction will create 250 jobs and once the facility is ready, will require full time staff for operations and maintenance. Pending environmental clearance, the project is expected to be up and running by the end of 2023.
Commenting on ‘Green Invest’, TVA’s renewables program under which this collaboration is being launched, Chris Hansen, TVA VP of Origination and Renewables, said: “Green Invest is more than a renewables program; when businesses relocate here, jobs are created and people can find work — revitalizing both rural and urban communities.”
This is not the first time that TVA is partnering with Origis Energy. Johan Vanhee, Chief Commercial Officer and Chief Procurement Officer, Origis Energy, said: “This is our second utility-scale solar facility in Mississippi with TVA, and it demonstrates the success of Green Invest in connecting local communities, private business and public power through renewable energy. We are excited to use TVA’s innovative program to contribute to economic activity in Lowndes County while helping Facebook achieve its carbon reduction goals.”
However, this is the first time that Facebook is collaborating on a battery storage project. The company has been involved in renewable projects before — this solar plant will be its fourth renewable energy project — and since 2018, it has purchased upto 597MW solar capacity in Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee. The company has committed to powering its operations entirely with renewable energy since 2020. Urvi Parekh, Head of Renewable Energy at Facebook, said: “Partnering with TVA on the Green Invest program has made it possible for our operations in the Tennessee Valley to be supported by new solar energy constructed in the region. This solar farm will be Facebook’s first renewable energy project in Mississippi and first large-scale energy storage project, which marks an important milestone for our global portfolio.”