Facebook and Dominion Power this week introduced a partnership on six photovoltaic initiatives in North Carolina and Virginia including as much as 350 megawatts. The Virginia-primarily based utility developed one of many tasks, totaling 20 megawatts, and can buy the others from Strata Photovoltaic, BayWa r.e. Photovoltaic Tasks and EDF Renewables. Facebook signed digital energy-buy agreements for the capability, which can go to powering knowledge facilities and services in Virginia and North Carolina.

Facebook has dedicated to 100% renewable power by the top of 2020 and the corporate instructed Greentech Media it achieved 51% renewable vitality for its operations on the finish of 2017. The corporate additionally mentioned it “work[s] to make sure that the entire renewable vitality initiatives we contract for are on the identical electrical grid as our knowledge facilities.” Dominion plans to have three gigawatts of wind and photovoltaic full or beneath growth by 2022.

It’s not the first photovoltaic deal for Dominion and Facebook, that are already working collectively on two tasks totaling 240 megawatts in Surry County, Virginia. These may also present electrical energy to a Virginia knowledge middle. Company sustainability objectives have more and more pushed utilities to fulfill the demand for other renewables. Facebook, as an example, is a member of the Renewable Power Patrons Alliance, a gaggle of companies working to carry more significant than 60 gigawatts of renewable vitality on-line by 2025.

That strain might notably impression Dominion, a conventionally coal-heavy utility with a service territory that overlaps with part of Virginia the place tech giants have flocked for a budget electrical energy obtainable to run web operations in “Knowledge Heart Alley.”

Final September, corporations together with eBay, Adobe and Salesforce submitted a letter to Virginia’s State Company Fee arguing that Dominion’s 2018 built-in useful resource plan “below-deploys renewable power assets, which is inconsistent with the wants and preferences of the sector that constitutes the biggest supply of load progress for the utility.” The signatories famous that Virginia accounts for as a lot as 70 % of worldwide web visitors and their operations are the most significant supply of Dominion’s load progress.

“We due to this fact encourage the Fee and Dominion to take information heart corporations’ and clients’ renewable power preferences and vitality effectivity investments into consideration when deciding on future vitality infrastructure tasks,” the businesses wrote. The fee later rejected the built-in useful resource plan and requested Dominion to transform it. Final Might, state regulators, additionally dismissed a proposal from the utility for a 100% renewables tariff that renewables advocates stated threatened competitors.