What do you do when a major new customer arrives in town asking for renewable energy? You supply it. Facebook’s decision to locate a new data center in Iowa and supply that data center with 100% wind energy is a great example of a company using its clout for good. To show its seriousness of intent, Facebook simultaneously pursued development rights to two wind parcels, one in Iowa and Nebraska, alongside its traditional site evaluation for a new data center. Iowa won the new data center, in no small part due to its leadership in the wind sector.
According to Vincent Van Son, Facebook’s Data Center Energy Manager, “When we settled on Altoona as the location for our fourth data center, one of the deciding factors was the opportunity to help develop a new wind project in the state. The project brings additional investment and jobs to the region, and in effect it makes it possible, on an annualized basis, for 100% of our energy needs to be met entirely with one of Iowa’s most abundant renewable resources.” Facebook worked with a local developer, RPM Access, and then at a key point, transferred ownership to a major utility, Mid-American. This project enabled Facebook to announce last week that the new data center will be supplied by 100% renewable energy.
As we profiled last year with Collaborative Economics, Iowa views the wind sector as a powerful economic development driver. As a result, it has emerged as an epicenter of wind in all facets – installations, innovation and manufacturing strength. Iowa’s multi-pronged clean energy strategy continues to deliver economic wins in 2013. Read More