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Ga. co-op contracts for 2 more solar projects to supply Facebook data center

The Walton Electric Membership Corp. has inked contracts for the output of two solar projects from developer Silicon Ranch Corp. to supply 100% renewable electricity at a Facebook Inc. data center in Newton County, Ga.

The Appling Solar Farm, in Appling County, Ga., will have a nameplate capacity of 25 MW and is slated to come online in late 2020, according to a Dec. 19 news release. The Lumpkin Solar Farm, in Stewart County, Ga., will generate 100 MW and is scheduled to begin operations in 2022. Silicon Ranch will build, own and operate both solar projects.

These are the third and fourth solar projects that Silicon Ranch will build for Walton Electric and Facebook to support the social media company's operations in Georgia. In November, Walton Electric announced it signed a contract with Silicon Ranch for power from a planned 107-MW solar farm in Jeff Davis County, Ga., called Snipesville II. The cooperative also contracted for the output of a 102.5-MW project in Early County, Ga.

"We are committed to supporting all of Facebook's operations with 100% renewable energy, and we are thrilled to have strong partners such as Walton EMC and Silicon Ranch to help us achieve that ambitious goal for the Newton Data Center," Urvi Parekh, Facebook's head of renewable energy, said in the news release. "We are proud to partner with them again for these new projects, which will bring additional investment to rural Georgia and strengthen the solar market in the region."