We are committed to accelerating the transition to renewable energy as well as supporting renewable energy projects that are on the same electrical grids as our data centers.
Supported by 100 Percent Renewable Energy
In 2011, we announced our commitment to source 100 percent renewable energy for our facilities—and we achieved that goal in 2020. Over the years, our procurement efforts have resulted in Facebook becoming one of the largest global buyers of renewable energy. At the end of 2020, our global portfolio totaled over 5.9 GW of wind and solar projects under contract, and we increased our operating portfolio of wind and solar to over 2.8 GW spanning 15 U.S. states, Europe, and Asia. For 2021, we have announced additional contracts, including our first solar-plus-storage projects that include 180 MW of storage capacity across three states.
A core part of our renewable energy strategy is supporting new projects and approaches that increase access to renewable energy, as well as add renewable capacity to the grids that support our data centers. To do this, we partner with utilities and developers to build new wind and solar projects to support our operations.
In 2019, we announced our first direct investment in a 300 MW solar power plant in Andrews County, Texas. After 14 months of construction, the plant became operational in July 2020 and has been delivering clean energy to the same Texas grid that serves both our Fort Worth Data Center and Texas offices. Currently, it is also one of the largest solar projects operating in Texas.
In 2020, we expanded the number of states in the U.S. where we have announced new renewable energy projects to include Illinois, Tennessee, and Ohio, growing the grids on which Facebook is bringing new solar and wind energy. We also work directly with local utilities around the U.S. to establish new green tariffs that enable other companies and customers, not just Facebook, to access renewable energy. To date, we have established six new tariffs in the U.S.
Facebook takes this same approach across the globe as well. In October of 2020, we announced Singapore’s first renewable virtual power purchase agreement to support our local operations—our offices and upcoming data center—with solar energy from panels to be installed on the rooftops of more than 1,200 public housing residential units and 49 government buildings. Once operational, the rooftops are expected to total more than 100 MW of solar capacity. In Ireland, we also partnered with Brookfield Renewables to purchase energy produced by its 28.8 MW Lisheen III wind farm based in Tipperary. This is our second renewable energy project in Ireland and the capacity will be enough to support the electricity needs of our expanding data center buildings and new office campus in Dublin.
Extending Impact to Communities
Beyond our operations, our commitment to support renewable energy projects on the same electricity grid as our data center and facilities has had a profound economic impact on local communities.
To understand the impact of Facebook’s renewable energy projects on jobs and the economy, we released a study in May 2021 that looked at the economic impact of 55 solar and wind projects that support our U.S. data centers. These renewable energy projects total 5,763 MW—some of which are operating today and others that will come online over the next three years—and represent an estimated $7.4 billion in investment. During construction, these renewable energy projects have supported or will support over 42,000 jobs across the country and contribute more than $4.3 billion in U.S. GDP.
Our portfolio of solar and wind projects spans 18 states and 46 counties, and many of these projects have benefited under-resourced communities. Of the 55 U.S. solar and wind projects in our portfolio studied, 96 percent are located outside of major metropolitan areas and 82 percent are located in counties with poverty rates above the national average. The analysis showed that construction of these renewable energy projects have generated or will generate $2.6 billion of labor income for workers, and project operations will generate $70 million in annual employee compensation.
Sharing Market Expertise to Increase Access
Collaboration is a core aspect of our strategy to source and increase access to renewable energy. As part of our efforts to strengthen the global renewable energy market, we work closely with key stakeholders and industry groups—such as Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance, RE-Source, the Centre on Regulation in Europe (CERRE), and the American Council on Renewable Energy—to help other companies make their own renewable energy purchases and to accelerate the transition to clean energy across the entire electricity system.