Dominion to Power Facebook’s $1B VA Data Center With Solar

The company will expand its photovoltaic portfolio to meet the needs of Facebook’s recently announced 1 million-square-foot Virginia facility.

By Anca Gagiuc

Dominion Energy Virginia will increase its solar generation to serve a new Facebook data center the company plans to build in suburban Richmond, Va. The development will be Facebook’s eighth data center in the U.S.

The facility will be located in eastern Henrico County and will consist of two separate buildings and administrative space encompassing roughly 1 million square feet. To meet the needs of both Facebook and other customers, Dominion plans to build several solar facilities in the Commonwealth, and has yet to determine the exact locations.

“Access to clean energy is joining reliability and price as important considerations when businesses decide to locate their operations,” Robert Blue, president & CEO of Dominion Energy’s Power Delivery Group, said in prepared remarks. “We are pleased we have been able to develop a solution for Facebook that meets all those requirements and creates a model that can be used by other large businesses as well. It opens the door to attracting more businesses and more jobs for the communities we serve.”

A new renewable rate option

The strategy was facilitated through a new innovative renewable rate option—dubbed Schedule RF (renewable facility)—designed by Dominion and Facebook that will enable large energy users to meet their needs through the addition of extra renewable energy sources. Dominion still has to file it with the Virginia State Corporation Commission later this month. If approved, Schedule RF will not only enable Facebook to offset its annual energy needs with clean, renewable energy delivered to the grid, but will also create a path for other large companies wishing to make the same commitment. In addition, Dominion’s 2.5 million customers will benefit economically from the special rate.

“We know from experience that when people come together, they can do a lot of good in the world,” said Bobby Hollis, director of Global Energy at Facebook. “We came together with Dominion Energy Virginia to create a new tariff that ensures renewable energy solutions are accessible not just to Facebook, but other companies as well. This new opportunity for customers to access renewable energy enables us to get one step closer to our goal of powering 100 percent of our operations with clean and renewable energy.”

Governor Terry McAuliffe expressed his gratitude for the partnership, adding that “For many years, Virginia has served as a key hub for global internet traffic, emerging as one of the most active data center markets in the world. Working with companies like Facebook and many others, we are advancing Virginia’s position as a global leader in the technology economy and a world-class home to innovative companies of every size.”

Images courtesy of Dominion Energy

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