Meta announced its Mesa, Arizona data center will soon be supported by new solar energy from Salt River Project (SRP) through a contract with U.S. clean energy provider Ørsted.
Under the contract, Meta will receive the majority portion of the solar energy generated by Ørsted’s Eleven Mile Solar Center, a 300 MW solar farm and 300 MW, four-hour battery energy storage system currently under construction in Pinal County, Arizona.
Once online in 2024, this will be the largest solar-plus-battery project on SRP’s power grid. The solar and stored energy not needed by the Meta data center will be available to SRP’s larger customer base.
In addition to this newly announced project, Meta will also receive an allocation of 50 MW from the 100 MW West Line Solar Facility, which opened earlier this year in Eloy, AZ, and will soon receive a portion of solar energy from the 200-MW Brittlebush Solar Facility in Coolidge, AZ, which is expected to be online in 2024.
Eleven Mile Solar Center, located on over 2,000 acres, is expected to be operational in 2024. Ørsted is actively developing renewable energy projects in over 15 states, with a portfolio of 5.7 GW currently operating or under construction across the United States.
The project’s storage capacity will contribute to the more than 1,100 MW of large-scale batteries that will be online on SRP’s system by the end of 2024.
This announcement follows SRP’s recent Integrated System Plan adoption, which will pursue battery investments, new solar additions, and more – backed by generation resources such as natural gas to ensure continued delivery of power.
SRP’s plan prepares to add 7,000 MW of new renewable resources, which includes 6,000 MW of new, large-scale solar resources by 2035. This is enough solar energy to power more than 1.3 million average size homes and will triple SRP’s current extensive portfolio of solar resources scheduled to come online by the end of 2025.
Originally published in Power Engineering.