Meta data center in Mesa to be supported by solar energy from SRP

Meta’s Mesa data center will be supported by solar energy thanks to a partnership with Salt River Project (SRP) and Ørsted, a prominent U.S. clean energy supplier. Through this collaboration, Meta will access the majority of solar energy produced by Ørsted’s Eleven Mile Solar Center, a massive 300-MW solar farm with a corresponding 300-MW battery storage system being developed in Pinal County, Arizona. 

Expected to go live in 2024, this initiative will mark the largest solar-plus-battery venture on SRP’s power grid and among the most extensive single-phase battery energy storage setups in the United States.The surplus solar and stored energy not utilized by Meta’s data center will be made available to SRP’s wider customer base. 

“We are proud to partner with SRP to bring new solar energy to the grid. Access to renewable energy and a strong, reliable grid were an important part of our decision to build in Mesa,” said Urvi Parekh, Meta’s head of renewable energy. “Meta is committed to having a positive impact on local communities and we’re excited to help bring this additional investment and jobs to the area.” 

In addition, Meta has secured 50 MW from the 100-MW West Line Solar Facility, which launched earlier in Eloy, Ariz., and is set to acquire a segment of solar energy from the 200-MW Brittlebush Solar Facility in Coolidge, Ariz., slated for online operations in 2024. These projects collectively contribute to Meta’s pursuit of attaining 100% renewable energy and achieving net zero targets.

The Eleven Mile Solar Center, slated for operations in 2024, spans more than 2,000 acres and encompasses both solar panels and a battery energy storage setup. Projections suggest it will generate approximately $89 million in tax revenue throughout its lifespan, contributing to local school districts, the municipalities of Coolidge and Eloy, as well as Pinal County. This initiative has significantly bolstered the regional economy by creating over 300 employment opportunities in the construction phase. 

Ørsted is actively engaged in developing renewable energy ventures across more than 15 states with a portfolio of 5.7 gigawatts currently operating or undergoing construction throughout the U.S.

Following SRP’s recent adoption of the Integrated System Plan, this announcement aligns with their commitment to creating a reliable, affordable, and sustainable approach to meet the anticipated rise in energy demand by 2035. The Integrated System Plan by SRP aims to incorporate insights from both the community and customers, emphasizing investments in cutting-edge battery technology, new solar installations, and other modern generation resources like flexible natural gas. This strategy ensures a consistent delivery of cost-effective and dependable power, meeting the expectations of SRP customers.
As part of this plan, SRP intends to introduce 7,000 megawatts (MW) of fresh renewable resources, including 6,000 MW from large-scale solar facilities by 2035. This scale of solar energy production would be adequate to power over 1.3 million average-sized homes, effectively tripling SRP’s extensive portfolio of solar resources set to be operational by the end of 2025.

Photo courtesy SRP.

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