In a first, Facebook secures deal to purchase renewable energy in India
SINGAPORE – Facebook has struck a deal to purchase renewable energy in India from a local firm’s wind power project. This is their first such deal in the South Asian nation, the companies said on Thursday.
The 32 megawatt wind power project, which is located in southern Karnataka state, is part of a larger portfolio of wind and solar projects. Facebook and Mumbai-based CleanMax have joined hands for supplying renewable power into India’s electrical grid, they said in a joint statement.
CleanMax will own and will be in charge of the projects, while Facebook will purchase the power off the grid making use of environmental attribute certificates, or carbon credits, according to the companies.
Facebook’s head of renewable energy, Urvi Parekh, told that the company typically doesn’t own the power plants. It instead signs “long-term” electricity purchasing agreements with the renewable power company.
“That enables the project to seek out the financing that it would need,” she said.
Parekh said that in Singapore, Facebook has divulged about similar partnerships with energy providers Sunseap Group, Terrenus Energy and Sembcorp Industries on projects, which can produce 160 MW of solar power.
The electricity generated from these plants will further help in powering its first Asian data centre, set to start operations next year, she added.
The International Energy Agency said last year that data centres driving tech companies like Facebook use up as much as 1% of the world1’s total energy.
Tech companies like Amazon, Alphabet Inc and Microsoft have all started to walk on an eco-friendly path by operating carbon-free and attain net-zero emissions, with demand for data and digital services expected to see a sustained rise.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced separately on Thursday that the company’s global operations are now backed fully by renewable energy, adding that it has reached net-zero emissions.