The Tennessee Valley Authority confirmed that the new 70-megawatt solar facility in Madison County, Tennessee, announced in February will support Facebook’s operations in the region. TVA is partnering with Nashville-based solar developer Silicon Ranch to develop the carbon-free energy.
“TVA is building the energy system of the future, and we are leading the charge by contracting 1,300 megawatts of utility scale solar in the past two years,” said Chris Hansen, TVA VP of origination & renewables. “This public-private partnership demonstrates the strength of TVA’s public power model to deliver clean, renewable energy at a competitive price to stimulate investment and jobs that help communities grow across the seven states we serve.”
Silicon Ranch will fund construction of the solar facility and will own and operate the plant. The project will create more than 350 construction jobs, with additional employment for ongoing operations and maintenance, including ranchers and farmers to care for the land as part of Silicon Ranch’s holistic approach to land management.
The facility is expected to come online in fall 2022, with planned interconnection to the TVA grid through the Jackson Energy Authority distribution system, pending environmental reviews.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with TVA and Silicon Ranch to bring this new solar facility to the grid in support of our operations in the Tennessee Valley,” said Urvi Parekh, head of Renewable Energy at Facebook. “The nearly 450 megawatts of new solar energy we are developing with TVA is an important part of our goal to support our global operations with 100% renewable energy.”
Facebook will support all of its operations with 100% renewable energy by the end of 2020. The Madison County project is part of TVA’s Green Invest program, which helps customers like Facebook meet their long-term sustainability goals with new renewable energy projects.
In 2018, Facebook collaborated with TVA to pioneer the Green Invest program. Since January, Green Invest has generated $1.6 billion in economic activity in TVA’s service territory.
“The Tennessee Valley is our home, and Silicon Ranch is honored to be part of this compelling economic development story with TVA, Facebook, JEA and the Jackson Chamber that demonstrates what’s possible when we work together with a shared vision for the entire region,” said Silicon Ranch co-founder and CEO Reagan Farr. “We’ve been proud to partner with Facebook to supply renewable energy to its state-of-the-art data center in Georgia, and today we’re thrilled to support Facebook’s operations right here in the Valley. Moreover, we are grateful to expand our meaningful relationship with TVA and look forward to collaborating on this innovative, customer-driven renewable energy solution.”
News item from the Tennessee Valley Authority