Some of the largest companies on the planet might have been born on the internet, but they still have real in-person requirements to run successfully. The data centers hosting the infrastructure of websites like Facebook, Amazon and Google have high electrical demands, the larger examples reaching 100 MW; not to mention the energy demands of those companies’ headquarters and, in Amazon’s case, retail warehouses. That’s why these internet and e-commerce giants have made major power purchases and commissioned the installation of solar projects globally. Here are just a few of those arrays located in the United States:
Community Energy developed the 80-MW Eastern Shore solar farm on the Delmarva Peninsula in Accomack, Virginia, for retail giant Amazon. The system is sited on about 1,000 acres and uses single-axis trackers. The nearby Eastern Shore Community College is using the solar array to teach residents about the technology. Amazon has commissioned 12 solar projects — completed or under development — in Virginia alone. Community Energy
Pictured is a rooftop solar system installed at Amazon’s fulfillment warehouse in Avenel, New Jersey. The company met a goal to install solar at 50 of its distribution centers worldwide. With on-site arrays alone, Amazon has approximately 11,700 modules at its warehouses. P2 Photography
Cypress Creek Renewables developed and constructed the 74-MW Rutherford Farm solar project in Rutherford County, North Carolina. Google is the sole off-taker on the project that was initially devised through Duke Energy’s Green Rider program and later acquired by Southern Company. The system was installed and developed by Cypress Creek Renewables.
A 2-MW solar array installed across Google’s Mountain View, California, campus is composed of seven individual rooftop systems and two carport structures. Blue Oak Energy designed the array, compensating for three different types of roof coverings and pitched and flat mounting surfaces. The solar system was completed in 2011. Google announced it was 100% powered by renewables in 2017. Blue Oak Energy
Facebook signed a long term PPA on Encino Solar, a 50-MW PV array in Sandoval County, New Mexico, powering the social network’s Los Lunas Data Center. Encino Solar is half of a 100-MW agreement with NM Renewable Development to keep the data center powered entirely by renewable energy — the second project in the transaction being the 50-MW Route 66 Solar in Cibola County. NM Renewable Development
Silicon Ranch constructed the 102.5-MW Bancroft Station Farm solar project in Early County, Georgia. The array supplies 100% of its energy to Facebook’s data center about 200 miles north in Newton County. The solar project was announced in March 2018 and became operational in December 2019. The array features locally-manufactured Hanwha Q CELLS modules and uses a Nextracker single-axis tracker infrastructure. Silicon Ranch
In addition to the company’s off-site systems, Facebook also touts a 3-MW rooftop array at its headquarters in Menlo Park, California. The array is installed across a variety of rooftops at the sprawling headquarters, which is LEED Platinum certified. The social network’s offices are all powered entirely by on- or off-site renewable energy. Facebook
The home that once housed Facebook’s first set of servers — back when the social media site had a mere 200,000 users — now has a rooftop covered in solar panels. Judy Fusco rented her California home to Facebook founders Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz and Sean Parker for seven months as the social network’s popularity exploded.