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Facebook selects Dominion Energy to power data center in Virginia with renewable energy

CTBR Staff Writer Published 06 October 2017

Social media giant Facebook has partnered with Dominion Energy to power its new and upcoming data center in Virginia with renewable energy.

Dominion Energy has agreed to add new solar generation to the power grid to serve the nearly $1bn data center, to be built in the suburbs of Richmond, Virginia.

Facebook has zeroed in on a location in Henrico County to build its eighth data center. Electricity for the data center will provided by Dominion Energy through a new renewable rate option, where large energy users will be able to use renewable energy to power their operations.

The upcoming data center will be built on a one million square feet of space and will comprise of two separate buildings and administrative space.

Dominion plans to construct several solar plants in the Commonwealth, whose power will be used by Facebook as well as its other customers. The sites for the solar plants will be selected.

Dominion Energy's Power Delivery Group president and CEO Robert Blue said: "Access to clean energy is joining reliability and price as important considerations when businesses decide to locate their operations.

"We are pleased we have been able to develop a solution for Facebook that meets all those requirements and creates a model that can be used by other large businesses as well. It opens the door to attracting more businesses and more jobs for the communities we serve."

Dominion Energy has come up with a new renewable rate option called Schedule Renewable Facility (RF) and the company plans to submit this to the Virginia State Corporation Commission later this month.

If the plan is approved, the electric utility company will be able to develop clean and renewable electricity which will be transmitted to its grid.

This can also create opportunities for other companies looking to benefit from renewable energy and provide broad economic benefits to its 2.5 million customers.

Facebook Global Energy director Bobby Hollis said: "We came together with Dominion Energy Virginia to create a new tariff that ensures renewable energy solutions are accessible not just to Facebook, but other companies as well.

“This new opportunity for customers to access renewable energy enables us to get one step closer to our goal of powering 100 percent of our operations with clean and renewable energy."

Image: Facebook to buy green electricity from Dominion Energy. Photo: Courtesy of Dominion Energy.