Meta Platforms, Inc. (formerly Facebook) has announced plans for three new large solar projects in Georgia.
Walton Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) recently signed contracts with Silicon Ranch on behalf of Meta for three new solar facilities totaling 560 megawatts (MWAC). The contracts are part of the electric cooperative’s agreement to supply Meta with 100 percent renewable energy for its data center in Stanton Springs, Ga. Silicon Ranch will work with Walton EMC to deliver projects in each of the next three years to support Meta’s operations.
Silicon Ranch is one of the nation’s largest independent power producers. As part of the agreement, Silicon Ranch will fund, build, own, operate and maintain the solar facilities over the life of the projects, bringing significant investment to rural communities throughout the region.
The announcement of the three new projects coincides with the nearing completion of the 125 MWAC DeSoto I Solar Farm in Lee County. Despite supply chain challenges that caused project delays across the solar industry, Silicon Ranch completed the project on schedule. The company has accomplished this feat with every project it has signed since beginning operations in 2011.
The three new projects will include Silicon Ranch’s innovative Regenerative Energy® model of land management, a comprehensive approach to design, construction and operations that pairs renewable energy production with regenerative agriculture practices.
Regenerative agriculture is farming that uses a rehabilitation and conservation approach to restore and preserve soils and ecosystems.
“We are proud of the work we have done with Walton EMC to accelerate the transition to renewables in Georgia,” said Urvi Parekh, head of renewable energy at Meta. “As we continue to support our global operations with 100 percent renewable energy, we are pleased to expand our partnership with Silicon Ranch, a trusted partner who shares our commitment to have a positive impact on the communities where we locate.”
“We appreciate the significant investments Meta and Silicon Ranch are making in our service territory and across the state, reinforcing and strengthening Georgia’s claim as the number one state for business,” said CEO Ronnie Lee.
“In our experience, Walton EMC is one of the most innovative, customer-centric utilities in the country, and we are grateful to be part of this compelling economic development story with them and Meta,” said Reagan Farr, Silicon Ranch president and CEO. “As a direct result of this partnership, Silicon Ranch is committed to invest $1.7 billion here in Georgia, and we look forward to being active members in each of these communities for decades to come.”
The recently completed projects and planned facilities expand both Walton EMC’s and Meta’s renewable energy leadership, as highlighted by the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy’s Solar in the Southeast report and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s Solar Means Business report, respectively.
Silicon Ranch, founded in 2011, is a fully integrated provider of customized renewable energy, carbon, and battery storage solutions for a diverse set of partners across North America. The company is one of the largest independent power producers in the country, with a portfolio that includes more than five gigawatts of solar and battery storage systems that are contracted, under construction, or operating across the U.S. and Canada. Silicon Ranch owns and operates every project in its portfolio and has maintained an unblemished track record of project execution, having successfully commissioned every project it has contracted in its history. To learn more, visit siliconranch.com and regenerativeenergy.org, and follow on Facebook and Instagram.
Walton EMC is an innovative, customer-owned and -focused electric utility serving accounts in 10 Northeast Georgia counties between Atlanta and Athens. In its long history of meeting customer-owners’ needs, the cooperative established successful natural gas and security subsidiaries as well as nationally recognized solar initiatives. For more information, visit waltonemc.com and follow on Facebook.