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Silicon Ranch’s first project serving Facebook and Walton EMC is currently under construction and will begin generating power before the end of 2019.

Solar development in Georgia continues to grow and boost economy

MONROE, Ga., November 19, 2019 – Walton Electric Membership Corporation (EMC), a consumer-owned utility with a reputation for energy innovation, has signed a contract with Silicon Ranch on behalf of Facebook for a new solar project as part of its agreement to supply 100 percent renewable energy for Facebook’s data center in Newton County, Georgia.

Facebook chose Walton EMC as the power supplier for the Newton Data Center when it announced the facility in March 2018.

The Newton Data Center is Facebook’s ninth such state-of-the-art facility in the country. Facebook’s data centers are among the most advanced, energy-efficient facilities in the world.

On behalf of Facebook and Walton EMC, Silicon Ranch will fund, construct, own, operate and maintain a 107-megawatt (MWac) facility, Snipesville II, in Denton, Georgia, an unincorporated community in Jeff Davis County. Snipesville II will come online in 2021.

The construction phase of the world-class project is expected to support more than 500 jobs, with the vast majority coming from local labor and subcontractors. Additional economic benefits include substantial revenue to Jeff Davis County that supports its school system.

Snipesville II, Silicon Ranch’s largest facility in Georgia, will employ single-axis tracking technology that allows more than 350,000 solar modules to track the sun from east to west.

Silicon Ranch is implementing its trademarked approach to land management called Regenerative Energy™ at the Snipesville II site. This holistic approach keeps the property in agricultural production as adaptively-managed grazing animals, diverse native plants, pollinator habitat and wildlife work together to revitalize degraded soils, enhance biodiversity, make ecosystems more resilient, improve the watershed and sequester carbon in the soil.

The innovative Regenerative Energy™ platform yields quantifiable ecological, economic and social outcomes that are backed by third-party verified standards.

“Silicon Ranch is a proven performer,” said Walton EMC CEO Ronnie Lee. “Their first solar project to supply the Newton Data Center, Bancroft Station, is on time and on budget. We are extremely happy to be working with them again in meeting Facebook’s goal of supporting their data center with 100 percent renewable power.”

“Walton EMC and the Georgia cooperatives are among the most innovative, customer-centric utilities in the country, and we are thrilled to expand our relationship with them and also with Facebook, one of the world’s leaders in renewable energy procurement,” said Silicon Ranch Co-Founder and CEO Reagan Farr. “Moreover, we are proud to continue our substantial investments in rural Georgia and look forward to growing our partnership with Jeff Davis County.”

“We are excited to be partnering with Walton EMC and Silicon Ranch once again to bring additional solar energy to the Georgia grid,” said Urvi Parekh, Head of Renewable Energy at Facebook. “This new project will provide additional investment in rural Georgia, help us reach our goal of 100% renewable energy for all of our operations, and further strengthen the solar market in the region.”

Snipesville II at a glance

  • Power for: Facebook Newton Data Center
  • Location: Denton, Georgia in Jeff Davis County
  • Size (electrical): 107 MW (AC)
  • Solar modules: more than 350,000 single-axis tracking
  • Expected Completion: 2021
  • Jobs created: construction – 500; operation and maintenance ­– two to three plus local ranchers, farmers and electrical contractors
  • Unique aspects: Regenerative Energy™ keeps land in agricultural production; project places Jeff Davis County among top solar communities

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Read more about this project:

Solar Power World

Atlanta Business Chronicle

PV Tech

PV Magazine

Renewables Now