Facebook backs Tipperary wind farm

Facebook will help develop a new wind farm in Co Tipperary to power its expanding data center campus in Clonee, Co Meath, and its European headquarters in Dublin.

The wind power project represents a new phase of Facebook’s 10-year power supply agreement reached in 2016 with Brookfield Renewable Partners, the Canada-based global fund that bought Bord Gáis’s wind power division in 2014.

Brookfield’s wind turbines in Lisheen, Co Tipperary, already generate much of the power demands for Facebook’s data centers in Clonee. But just as the physical size and energy needs of that facility continue to grow, so does Facebook’s investment in wind power. Your power requirements will grow even further as Facebook relocates part of its 4,000-strong workforce from its Docklands offices to its extensive 2018 acquisition, the former AIB headquarters in Ballsbridge.

As part of its development plans for Lisheen III, to be completed in 2022, the new farm will have a generating capacity of 28.8 megawatts, enough for the annual needs of 20,000 homes.

Lisheen III will be built alongside Brookfield’s less powerful existing farms: the 18-turbine Lisheen I, which began operations in 2007, and the 12-turbine Lisheen II.

Other tech giants based here are sponsoring their own wind farms to generate electricity for the national grid that can be offset by their own consumption, particularly through data centers. Amazon has already partnered with a Donegal wind farm and plans to do the same at a second park under development in Cork.

These agreements are known as corporate power purchase agreements (CPPA). They allow companies to build or help finance off-site renewable energy generation, including solar energy fields and wind farms.

“We appreciate this strong collaboration with Brookfield Renewable and are excited to be a part of bringing this new wind project to the grid,” said Colin Spain, Facebook’s energy manager for EMEA. “We hope that it will not only support our Irish operations and our goal of 100% renewable energy for all of our global operations, but will encourage all stakeholders to work together to bring additional renewables to the grid through corporate agreements from purchase of energy “.

Facebook also announced that it is supporting new solar and wind projects in the states of Illinois, Ohio, Tennessee and Utah that, along with its expansion in Ireland, would deliver 806 megawatts of power. The firm already has global supply agreements for more than 2 gigawatts of power and aims to obtain another 1.5 gigawatts by the end of the year.

Ciarán O’Brien, Brookfield’s commercial director for Ireland and the UK, said Facebook was “demonstrating the role companies can play in adding renewable capacity to the grid and meeting carbon reduction targets.”

Toronto-based Brookfield Renewables is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and is majority owned by a Bermuda-based asset management fund.

Brookfield Renewables has a market value of close to $ 8 billion (€ 6.8 billion) and a portfolio of nearly 5,300 power generation facilities around the world, primarily hydroelectric plants.