The project is being built in Andrews County, TX by Longroad Energy, a renewable energy company. It is being referred to as the Prospero #Solar Project.
The farm is anticipated to be up and running in 2020, with a capacity of just under 380 megawatts. This is going to be one of the largest solar farms in the nation at 4,600 acres and the solar capacity would equate to enough power for 300,000 houses. As another point of reference, this land located in West Texas is roughly five and a half times the size of Central Park. The numbers are certainly impressive and worth talking about!
With the scale and size of the solar farm, it is expected to deliver $21 million in terms of local property taxes.
A Solar First for Facebook
This is the first time that Facebook has made a direct investment in a renewable energy project, and it is a huge solar project at that. The company contributed a significant amount toward the total costs, which fell in the ballpark of $416 million. In terms of this solar project, Facebook is the only tax equity investor. Some of the output from the solar farm will be sold to Shell, and the energy will then be re-sold. Of course, both Shell and Facebook will have the ability to obtain renewable energy tax credits.
In accordance with a statement by #Peter Freed, energy strategy manager for Facebook, there is a lot of excitement surrounding the company being one of the first to utilize a direct investment in order to meet renewable energy objectives. The hope is that such investments will be a means of engaging with projects, which could essentially be easier for companies in comparison to a longstanding power purchase agreement. This would unlock different options for more companies to meet their objectives and grow the market.
Freed further discussed that when Facebook selects new renewable energy projects to get involved in, it searches for ventures that otherwise might not have happened. With regard to the Prospero Solar Project, Freed mentioned being involved early on in order to ensure the company’s involvement helped the solar project to move forward.
Facebook’s business runs largely on renewable energy (to the tune of 75 percent of its business), to include solar, as of last year. The company could serve as a model for other companies that plan to run on renewable energy sources such as solar. Other tech companies already run on solar and other renewable energy sources. Google and Apple are both utilizing credits and carbon offsets in an effort to eliminate fossil fuel usage. Both companies have plans to run totally on renewable energy at some point in time. It is worth noting that the suppliers used by world-renowned Apple utilize clean energy, such as solar, as well.
Solar and Wind Power Deals
Facebook has signed deals to purchase both solar and wind power in close proximity to its data centers located around the world, so clearly the company is taking its clean energy efforts very seriously.
Hopefully, other large companies will take note and do their part to get involved and limit their carbon footprint. Investing in solar projects is a great thing for our planet. Keep reading up on solar news to stay in the loop regarding the most recent solar projects and developments in clean energy. Think about small steps you can take to make a difference, too. While most people don’t have millions of dollars available to invest, we can all do little things that will add up to make a big difference for our planet. Facebook is certainly making impressive moves in financing this huge solar farm in Texas. It will be interesting to see if other companies follow suit!