- Arizona Contractor & Community
SRP Signs Contracts for 500 MW of New Renewable Energy from Three New Solar Plants
Following its recent announcement to expand utility-scale solar resources to 2,025 megawatts (MW) by 2025, Salt River Project (SRP) today announced three new solar energy plants that will deliver a total of 500MW of renewable energy. Facebook announced it will be SRP's largest off taker of these new clean energy resources, utilizing 450MW of the combined solar capacity to support Facebook's newly announced data center in Mesa, Arizona, and help meet the company's 100 percent renewable energy commitments.
The three projects include two 200-MW solar plants and one 100-MW solar plant. SRP is contracting with subsidiaries of solar developers AES, EDP and NextEra Energy Resources to construct and operate the three new plants. The first project is expected to come online in fall 2022 and start of construction for all the new solar plants, which will all be located in Pinal County, will begin at different points in time throughout 2022.
"We are excited to build our newest data center in Mesa and proud to partner with SRP to bring 450MW of new solar energy to the grid. Access to renewable energy and a strong grid were an important part of our decision to build in Mesa," said Urvi Parekh, Facebook's head of renewable energy. "Facebook 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."
"Doubling our solar resources to over 2000MW and having one of the largest storage commitments in the West is among the strategic ways SRP is enhancing access to sustainable solutions for customers," said SRP's CEO and General Manager Mike Hummel. "Facebook's approach aligns well with SRP's carbon reduction commitments and working together on this project helped accelerate SRP's plans to add more solar generation to our energy mix. We're proud to soon bring additional new, utility-scale clean energy online."
The Facebook data center in Mesa will receive water credits for its operations from an agreement with Gila River Water Storage, LLC. (GRWS), SRP's joint venture with the Gila River Indian Community which provides renewable water in the form of Long Term Storage Credits (LTSCs) to entities seeking additional supplies. The data center will procure these LTSCs from GRWS water storage, which means that it will not use any water rights from Mesa's municipal supply for operations.
Adding 500MW of renewable solar energy to SRP's power grid to support the energy needs of Facebook's data center in Mesa, as well as SRP small business customers, will save hundreds of millions of gallons of water per year than if the same amount of energy were generated by fossil fuel-burning resources.