Utah solar farm to power Facebook Eagle Mountain data centre
A 120MW solar farm to be built by Rocky Mountain Power in Utah in the United States is to provide power to Facebook’s Eagle Mountain data centre following an investment from the social media platform. The solar farm, part of Rocky Mountain Power’s Appaloosa solar project, brings the social network’s total solar energy investments in Utah to 814MW.
Rocky Mountain Power’s Schedule 34 green energy tariff will develop the solar farm and will be led by the renewable energy development company, rPlus Energies. Urvi Parekh, head of renewable energy at Facebook, said: “Our goal is to continue to support all of our operations with 100% renewable energy and this partnership with rPlus Energies and Rocky Mountain Power helps us achieve that.”
“Utah has been a great home for our data centre, and we are proud to help add new solar energy to the electrical grid”, she added.
Luigi Resta, Chief Executive Officer of rPlus Energies, said: “We look forward to helping Rocky Mountain Power and Facebook tap both the excellent solar capacity and talent available in Iron County. Our team is proud of our history in Iron County, helping to diversify and modernize the county’s energy mix through utility-scale solar development”.
Facebook’s Utah-based Eagle Mountain data centre campus
The plans for Facebook’s US$750mn, 1mn sq ft Utah data centre campus were originally announced in 2018. The first expansion of the site, totalling 500,000 sq ft was unveiled a year later, while the latest 900,00 sq ft addition launched in February this year.
In terms of solar investments, Facebook purchased 235MW of solar power from Rocky Mountain Power in September 2020. This year, it has bought more than 250MW of renewable energy in the U.S. through Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), in addition to other solar energy-related projects based in Singapore and India.
As of last year, the company claimed to have reached net-zero emissions, saying that its operations were supported by 100% renewable energy. It also says that contracts for over 6GW of wind and solar energy projects spread across 18 states and five countries.
Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post that the company had “reached net-zero emissions for our operations” and that it was “one of the largest buyers of renewable energy in the world - resulting in $8 billion invested in 63 wind and solar projects around the world, creating tens of thousands of jobs.
“Thanks to our team and partners who helped reach this goal!”, he said.
Microsoft hyperscale plans prompt Lab3 New Zealand launch
Lab3, an Australian cloud migration specialist, has announced it is launching in New Zealand after being prompted by a surge in demand for cloud services and Microsoft’s investment into hyperscale data centres.
The company, which was founded in 2017, has appointed David Boyes as Chief Executive Officer and Rich Anderson as Chief Operating Officer. According to Companies Office records, Boyes and Anderson each have a 10% share in Lab3’s New Zealand business. Commenting on cloud migration, Boyes said: “Across New Zealand, in government and every industry sector, organisations are looking to migrate to the cloud to modernise their technology environments.” He added that the Coronavirus pandemic was fuelling a “ need to tap into the power of data, facilitate remote work and meet public expectations of a virtual world.”
Chris Cook, Group CEO of Lab3 said the business was "first and foremost about client success" which drives the company’s product innovation and motivation to expand into New Zealand. “We look forward to working closely with Microsoft to deliver more for New Zealand clients,” he said.
Microsoft’s New Zealand hyperscale data centre investment plan
Microsoft’s investment into a hyperscale data centre region in New Zealand meant the resulting facilities will aim to provide several organisations with access to the security and scalability of a public cloud without sending data offshore.
Vanessa Sorenson, Managing Director of Microsoft New Zealand, said: “We’ve seen a tremendous acceleration in cloud migration over the past year as organisations have responded to global disruption and conversely, recognised the global opportunities a digital operation brings.
“Our research with IDC shows public cloud technologies are set to create 102,000 local jobs and add [NZ]$30 billion to the New Zealand economy over the next four years, so we’re delighted to welcome a partner of LAB3’s calibre to New Zealand, to help more organisations realise those gains even faster," she added.
Lab3’s clients include several fintech organisations, a global software vendor, Australian federal and state government agencies, and insurance and banking corporations. The company employs over 200 staff and has three advanced specialisations across migrations, Azure virtual desktop, and security.