RWE Renewables (RWE) has partnered with Facebook and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to realise a 150 MW solar facility in Shelby County, Tennessee, US. Facebook will use 110 MW of the solar energy to support the company’s data centre operations in Gallatin, Tennessee, and the broader Tennessee Valley. The plant is expected to start operations in late 2023, with start of construction in mid-2022. Through a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with TVA, RWE will own and operate the plant. The financial investment decision for this plant is expected to be made once the permitting approval process will be completed.
“Facebook’s mission is to connect the world, and the connections we made with TVA and RWE will ensure our operations in the Tennessee Valley are supported with new solar energy,” said Urvi Parekh, Head of Renewable Energy at Facebook. “This solar project, which is our third in Tennessee, will help us continue our commitment of 100% renewable energy for our global operations, while also bringing new investment and jobs to the local community.”
The TVA is a corporate agency of the US that provides electricity for business customers and local power companies serving nearly 10 million people in parts of seven south-eastern states. The solar project is part of TVA’s Green Invest programme to expand renewable generation capacity in Shelby County. Since 2018, Green Invest has attracted nearly US$2.7 billion in solar investment and procured over 2100 MW of solar on behalf of its customers.
“Bringing clean energy to Shelby County is part of our long-term community support plan, and is critical to support our region’s sustainability strategy,” said Doug Perry, TVA Senior Vice President, Commercial Energy Solutions. “This project is more than a solar farm, it puts people to work, revitalises communities and makes our region an environmental leader.”
Long-term PPAs are increasingly becoming an option for operators of existing as well as new renewable energy plants. This is where PPA models offer an advantage, since they require no participation in tenders for feed-in tariffs. The result is more flexibility in terms of location, and new projects can be implemented more quickly. RWE already has PPAs in place with key accounts such as Volkswagen, Deutsche Bahn or Bosch to supply green electricity directly.
The US accounts for more than one third of the RWE Group’s renewables capacity playing a key role in RWE’s strategy to grow its renewables business. RWE constructs, owns and operates some of the highest performing wind, solar and energy storage projects in the US.
The company has significant experience in the US onshore market, with 27 projects in operation and more to come, and is building the Hickory Park solar project with co-located storage. It has entered into a joint venture, New England Aqua Ventus, focused on floating offshore wind in the state of Maine.
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Read the article online at: https://www.energyglobal.com/solar/19052021/rwe-enters-into-solar-energy-agreement-with-facebook-and-tva/