Industry News

Facebook builds solar project to support its data center business

2018-07-23
[PConline News] Facebook will fund the construction of six large-scale solar projects to offset the electricity consumption in its Prineville data center campus, which the company says will generate enough clean electricity to run all five of the site. Data centers.

Two solar projects south of downtown Plainville and four solar projects at Utah Pacific Power's grid will generate 437 megawatts of electricity. This is a huge power supply. Facebook says it is equivalent to all the energy used in all power-consuming equipment in the Princeville data center.

“Efficient and efficient renewable energy is one of the top priorities of all our plants,” said Peter Freed, Facebook energy strategy manager.

Facebook has three large data centers in the city of Plainville and is building two more. The company has spent more than $1 billion on these projects, but it declined to say how much it cost to build a solar project, or the cost of clean energy is different from the current cost.

Construction work will begin next year and all six solar projects will generate electricity by the end of 2020. Facebook will not build its own solar projects, and Pacific Power will sign contracts with energy companies that can independently build and operate these solar bases.

Greenpeace has been lobbying Facebook to use renewable energy even before its Facebook project to build its first data center in Plainville. Greenpeace welcomed the news that broke out in recent days.

Gary Cooke, an information technology analyst at Greenpeace, said: "We can assume that this move indicates that Facebook is committed to meeting the growing energy needs through renewable energy."

However, he warned that Pacific Power still relies on coal-fired power generation in the grid, saying that electricity will help run Facebook's services in the event that its solar projects are not operational.

Gary Cook said that social networking companies should solve this problem by buying other clean energy sources and looking for ways to store electricity to find fully renewable energy.

Data centers use a lot of energy to run and cool internal computers that can host social network photos, emails, and other online data. The solar power in Facebook's Prayneville is roughly equivalent to the energy consumption of 100,000 Northwestern homes.

The city of Plainville has only 4,100 homes and is home to the first data center built by Facebook in 2011.

The company has been expanding and is now building fourth and fifth large facilities in the area, enjoying valuable tax breaks over and over again, which has saved the company more than $73 million in costs to date.

Tax breaks in small cities bring Silicon Valley to the US

This is the story of a large technology company that can use their computers anytime, anywhere. Like most large technology companies, Facebook recognizes the scientific consensus that human activities are responsible for climate change. Like other technology companies, Facebook has been shifting its power load to renewable energy.

Apple, which also operates data centers in the city of Plainville, is also using solar, wind and hydropower to offset its electricity use there.

At the same time, Facebook has begun to use renewable energy in data centers elsewhere. Scott Bolton, vice president of external affairs at Pacific Power, said Oregon's data center green energy practices have progressed slowly due to national restrictions on direct purchases of renewable energy by large energy users.

Scott Bolton said that at the beginning of last year, Pacific Power was approved by state regulators to establish a new tax policy that would allow Facebook and other large power users to purchase energy related to specific renewable projects.

By paying for the cost of new solar projects, Scott Bolton said Facebook will reduce the cost of renewable energy for other power users.

“I think Facebook is opening up a new path and is expected to offer some tailor-made solutions,” he said.