We are committed to accelerating the transition to renewable energy in the communities where we operate, which is why all of our renewable energy projects are on the same electrical grids as the data centers they support.
86% renewable energy supporting our operations
In 2019, we achieved 86 percent renewable energy for our operations and have over 1.3 gigawatts of wind and solar projects online.
Supporting Our Operations with 100 Percent Renewable Energy
In 2011, Facebook was one of the first companies to commit to supporting our facilities with 100 percent renewable energy. We have since set an aggressive goal to support our global operations with 100 percent renewable energy from 2020 onward. As of the end of 2019, we are proud to say that we are 86 percent of the way there.
Renewable energy made up over 86 percent of our overall electricity mix in 2019. We have steadily increased our renewable energy since 2013 on our pathway to 100 percent in 2020.
In 2019, we were a leading corporate purchaser of renewable energy globally, recognized as the #1 corporate buyer of renewable energy in the U.S. by the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance and #2 in the world by Bloomberg NEF. Last year, we also committed to our first direct investment in a renewable energy project with the 300 MW Prospero Solar Project in Texas. Facebook is the sole tax equity investor and will be purchasing the majority of the renewable energy attributes from the project.
Adding to Local Grids Around the World
Globally, at the end of 2019, we had more than 5 GW of renewable energy projects under contract and over 1.3 GW of projects online generating clean electricity in support of Facebook’s operations. In 2019 alone, we contracted for 1.7 GW of new renewable energy projects. Facebook has contracted for enough renewable energy to power more than 1.6 million U.S. households.1
1Based on U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates of household electricity consumption.
We contribute to local communities by adding new renewable energy capacity to the same electricity grids as the data centers they support. In certain regions, our operations are also benefiting local communities by contributing to the region’s efforts to address environmental challenges. For example, our data center in Odense, Denmark includes infrastructure to capture and deliver heat generated by our servers to the district heating system, operated by a local district heating company. The project is currently ramping up to provide 100,000 MWh of energy per year – enough to warm 6,900 homes in the neighboring community. Our project is helping the city to accelerate its efforts to phase out the use of coal by summer 2022 ahead of the initial goal of 2030.
Driving Industry Access to Renewable Energy
Beyond efforts to support our global facilities with renewable energy, we are committed to continue strengthening renewable energy markets around the world and supporting the clean energy transition. We strive to increase access to renewable energy resources for other companies and organizations through green tariffs, added infrastructure, or providing access to a specific project. Our direct investment in the Prospero Solar Project is another example of our efforts to help unlock new options for more organizations to meet their own renewable energy goals and grow the market.
In 2019, of our total 1.7 GW of new contracted renewable energy projects, we executed 1 GW of contracts in partnership with four local utility providers including Dominion Energy (Virginia), Rocky Mountain Power (Utah), Pacific Power (Oregon) and Walton Electric Membership Corporation (Georgia). Additionally, we partnered with our colocation service provider, Digital Realty, on the first back-to-back utility-scale renewable energy transaction by a data center provider landlord linking renewable energy supply directly to an end customer.
Bancroft Station Solar
Facebook’s first solar project in the state of Georgia, Bancroft Station Solar, began operations in December 2019. The project has yielded tangible economic benefits across the state, with our partner employing more than 675 people to construct the project using locally-manufactured PV modules. The project incorporates an innovative approach that creates more than 20 additional long-term, high-value jobs in a rural, economically distressed county, while keeping the property in agricultural production and generating significant environmental benefits. Adaptively-managed grazing livestock, diverse plant life, pollinator habitat and wildlife all work together to revitalize degraded soils, enhance biodiversity, increase the ecosystems’ resilience, improve the watershed, and sequester carbon in the soil.
Advancing Renewable Energy Through Green Tariffs
A key part of our sustainability mission is to advance the rapid deployment of renewable energy on the electric grid while also supporting 100% of our global operations with new renewable energy by 2020. As a result, we’ve used a variety of innovative mechanisms to find renewable energy solutions for our global footprint, while also working to bring other large customers along with us.
Denmark Data Center to Warm Local Community
When we announced the construction of our Odense Data Center in 2017, we were determined to build one of the most advanced, energy-efficient data centers in the world. In addition to our latest hyper-efficient hardware and indirect evaporative cooling technology, this facility will also be unique because of infrastructure to capture and recycle excess heat generated by our servers to provide heat to the local community.