Two new PNM Resources solar farms, totaling 100 megawatts (MWs) of photovoltaics (PVs) will power Facebook’s datacenter in Los Lunas, NM, allowing it to run on 100 percent renewable energy. They're the latest renewable energy projects to power the tech company in the state.
Datacenters use huge amounts of energy, both for processing and housing data as well as cooling data servers that operate around the clock. Thankfully tech giants, from Apple to Facebook to Google and others are choosing to use renewables to power their operations. In doing so, they’re helping to ensure that the electric grid has more clean, renewable energy.
By making giant purchases they’re also helping bring down the costs of renewable energy. For instance, the Facebook projects will provide power at a rate of $30.25 per megawatt-hour.
"With these two new projects, we have worked with PNM to bring 396 megawatts of new wind and solar projects that will contribute to a greener grid and help bring more renewable energy and investment to New Mexico," said Bobby Hollis, head of Global Energy at Facebook. "We appreciate New Mexico's supportive environment that has enabled us to procure this amount of renewable energy so quickly.”
With the latest agreement, the social media giant has invested roughly $800 million in wind and solar power in the state. Those projects have created 1,300 jobs in the state, both permanent and construction jobs. The work has been concentrated in Valencia, Bernalillo, Quay, Torrance, Cibola and Sandoval counties.
The utility already has roughly 140 MWs of solar power online in the state, including 30 MWs of PVs that came online in 2018 to power Facebook’s operations in the state. The new, 50 MW solar farms will support the tech company’s further expansion in the state with the $1 billion Los Lunas datacenter which will start coming online at the end 2018 and be fully operational in 2023.
The two new solar farms were approved by New Mexico’s Public Regulation Commission on Oct. 17. The projects are being built by NMRD, a joint venture between PNM Resources subsidiaries and American Electric Power.
The first is expected to come online by the end of 2019 and the second in June 2020. Together the facilities will create roughly 400 construction jobs and generate $140 million in investment in the state.
"Opportunities for solar energy are abundant in New Mexico, and Facebook's growth allows us to demonstrate our commitment to making our state a sustainable energy leader," said Pat Vincent-Collawn, chairman, president and CEO of PNM Resources. "We are proud to support Facebook's presence in New Mexico."
Like other tech companies, Facebook is making giant purchases of renewable energy in the US and around the world. Earlier this year, for instance, Facebook announced its Newton Datacenter in Georgia would be powered by 150 MWs of solar power.Tweet