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RWE Renewables GmbH

RWE partners with Facebook and TVA on 150 megawatt solar project in the US

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  • Project located in Shelby County, Tennessee
  • Facebook to use 110 MW to support data center operations
  • Facility expected to be online in late 2023

Essen, 19 May 2021

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“RWE is a global renewable energy leader, and together with partners we forge ahead the further expansion of renewables. We are excited to cooperate with Facebook and TVA to develop one of the world’s most advanced solar farms. Once in operation, the clean energy generated from this site will fuel jobs locally and across the state and help Facebook achieve its carbon reduction goals.”

Anja-Isabel Dotzenrath, CEO RWE Renewables

RWE Renewables has partnered with Facebook and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to realize a 150-megawatt (MW) solar facility in Shelby County, Tennessee, in the US. Facebook will use 110 MW of the solar energy to support their data center operations in Gallatin, Tennessee, and the broader Tennessee Valley. The plant is expected to start operations in late 2023 with start of construction in mid-2022. Through a long-term power purchase agreement with TVA, RWE will own and operate the plant. The financial investment decision for this plant is expected to be made once the permitting approval process will be completed.

“Facebook’s mission is to connect the world, and the connections we made with TVA and RWE will ensure our operations in the Tennessee Valley are supported with new solar energy,” said Urvi Parekh, Head of Renewable Energy at Facebook. “This solar project, which is our third in Tennessee, will help us continue our commitment of 100% renewable energy for our global operations, while also bringing new investment and jobs to the local community.”

The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power companies serving nearly 10 million people in parts of seven south-eastern states. The solar project is part of TVA’s Green Invest program to expand renewable generation capacity in Shelby County, Tennessee. Since 2018, Green Invest has attracted nearly $2.7 billion in solar investment and procured over 2,100 MW of solar on behalf of its customers.

“Bringing clean energy to Shelby County is part of our long-term community support plan, and is critical to support our region’s sustainability strategy,” said Doug Perry, TVA senior vice president, Commercial Energy Solutions. “This project is more than a solar farm, it puts people to work, revitalizes communities and makes our region an environmental leader.”

Long-term PPA’s are increasingly becoming an option for operators of existing as well as new renewable energy plants. This is where PPA models offer an advantage, since they require no participation in tenders for feed-in tariffs. The result is more flexibility in terms of location, and new projects can be implemented more quickly. RWE already has PPAs in place with key accounts such as Volkswagen, Deutsche Bahn or Bosch to supply green electricity directly.

The U.S. accounts for more than one third of the RWE Group’s renewables capacity playing a key role in RWE’s strategy to grow its renewables business. RWE constructs, owns and operates some of the highest performing wind, solar and energy storage projects in the U.S. 

RWE has significant experience in the U.S. onshore market with 27 projects in operation and more to come and is building the Hickory Park solar project with co-located storage.

Furthermore, RWE has entered into a joint venture, New England Aqua Ventus, focused on floating offshore wind in the state of Maine.

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