Consumer-owned Georgia utility Walton Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) has signed a contract with Silicon Ranch on behalf of Facebook for a new solar project as part of its agreement to supply 100% renewable energy for Facebook’s data center in Newton County, Georgia. Facebook chose Walton EMC as the power supplier for the Newton Data Center when it announced the facility in March 2018.
“Silicon Ranch is a proven performer,” said Walton EMC CEO Ronnie Lee. “Their first solar project to supply the Newton Data Center, Bancroft Station, is on time and on budget. We are extremely happy to be working with them again in meeting Facebook’s goal of supporting their data center with 100% renewable power.”
The Newton Data Center is Facebook’s ninth such facility in the country. On behalf of Facebook and Walton EMC, Silicon Ranch will fund, construct, own, operate and maintain the 107-MWac Snipesville II facility in Denton, Georgia, an unincorporated community in Jeff Davis County. Snipesville II will come online in 2021.
The construction phase of the project is expected to support more than 500 jobs, with the vast majority coming from local labor and subcontractors. Additional economic benefits include substantial revenue to Jeff Davis County that supports its school system.
Snipesville II, Silicon Ranch’s largest facility in Georgia, will employ single-axis tracking technology. Silicon Ranch is implementing its trademarked approach to land management called Regenerative Energy at the Snipesville II site. This holistic approach keeps the property in agricultural production as adaptively-managed grazing animals, diverse native plants, pollinator habitat and wildlife work together to revitalize degraded soils, enhance biodiversity, make ecosystems more resilient, improve the watershed and sequester carbon in the soil. The innovative Regenerative Energy platform yields quantifiable ecological, economic and social outcomes that are backed by third-party verified standards.
“Walton EMC and the Georgia cooperatives are among the most innovative, customer-centric utilities in the country, and we are thrilled to expand our relationship with them and also with Facebook, one of the world’s leaders in renewable energy procurement,” said Silicon Ranch Co-Founder and CEO Reagan Farr. “Moreover, we are proud to continue our substantial investments in rural Georgia and look forward to growing our partnership with Jeff Davis County.”
“We are excited to be partnering with Walton EMC and Silicon Ranch once again to bring additional solar energy to the Georgia grid,” said Urvi Parekh, Head of Renewable Energy at Facebook. “This new project will provide additional investment in rural Georgia, help us reach our goal of 100% renewable energy for all of our operations, and further strengthen the solar market in the region.”