Meta Platforms Powers Data Center With Wind Energy

    Great Pathfinder Wind Project Sells Entire Capacity To Meta Platforms

    Meta data centers are contracted for 100% renewable energy. Meta adds more renewable energy to the grids in communities where it works, thereby increasing renewable options for other businesses in those communities. Meta locates its data centers where it can access and source renewables. This is a core part of its data center selection process. (Image Courtesy Of Meta Platforms)

    Apex Clean Energy (Apex), a utility-scale wind and solar energy operator, announced that all 225 MW of its Great Pathfinder Wind project’s capacity have been contracted through a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Meta Platforms (Meta). Great Pathfinder is located in Boone and Hamilton Counties in central Iowa. The agreement marks Meta’s second PPA in Iowa and the fifth PPA between Apex and Meta.

    Meta has a data center campus 40 miles (64 km) from the wind project. The Iowa data center first broke ground in 2013, but given increased demand, Meta announced an expansion in December 2021 that will require more renewable energy to support the facility.

    Once the expansion is completed, the data center is estimated to represent an investment of more than US$2.5 billion and the creation of 400 jobs. Great Pathfinder is expected to generate US$32 million in tax revenue for Boone and Hamilton Counties, US$74 million in payments to landowners, and create 270 full-time local jobs during its construction. Apex Clean Energy expects the project will employ nine full-time employees once it begins commercial operations later this year.

    Meta has already achieved net-zero emissions in its global operations but plans to reach net-zero emissions throughout its value chain by 2030 and become water positive by 2030. “Our partnership with Meta positions Great Pathfinder Wind as a best-in-class clean energy project benefiting communities in central Iowa and across the Hawkeye State,” said Mark Goodwin, Apex Clean Energy president and CEO. “Leveraging Iowa’s tremendous wind resources will accelerate the deployment of clean energy, create local jobs, and generate significant local and state economic investment — a trifecta of benefits only possible through trusted collaboration.”

    Meta Data Center In Clonee, Ireland (Image Courtesy Of Meta Platforms)

    “We are proud to partner with Apex to continue bringing new renewable energy resources, investment, and jobs to Iowa through this new wind project,” said Urvi Parekh, director of renewable energy at Meta. “Iowa’s ability to host high-quality wind projects, while providing a welcoming business environment, has made it a great home for our data center, and we hope this investment demonstrates our continued commitment to the state and the local community.”