Greenbacker Starts Construction of 80MW US PV
US renewables developer Greenbacker has broken ground on an 80MW utility-scale solar project in Utah.
RPlus Energies is constructing the Graphite Solar 1 plant in Carbon County, which will be one of the largest solar plants in Greenbacker’s nationwide portfolio.
Greenbacker purchased the pre-operational solar project from rPlus Energies in December 2020 and contracted rPlus to continue to develop the project through construction.
The plant will contribute renewable power to Facebook’s new data centre in Eagle Mountain, Utah.
The ground breaking follows Greenbacker’s announcement in March that it had completed construction of the 61MW Turquoise solar project in Washoe County, Nevada, that supplies clean energy to Apple’s data centre in the Reno Technology Park.
Graphite Solar 1 has a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) in place with the investment-grade utility PacifiCorp on behalf of Facebook.
The contract was developed under Rocky Mountain Power’s Schedule 34 green energy tariff, which allows large customers to purchase renewable energy generated on their behalf.
The project supports Facebook’s goal of 100% renewable energy for its operations and is expected to reach commercial operations in the fourth quarter of 2021.
“Large projects like Graphite will increasingly be necessary to meet the electricity needs of the technology economy and provide carbon neutral alternatives to traditional power sources,” said Charles Wheeler, CEO of Greenbacker.
“We’re thrilled to play a role in the ongoing positive impact that this sustainable infrastructure project will have on boosting local employment, supporting regional economies, and creating more reliable power grids.”
Graphite is being built in Wellington, a town with several coal mines, a recently retired coal plant, and a long history of generating power for the area.
The rPlus Energies team was joined for the ground breaking by Greenbacker and by Sundt Construction, which will serve as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) lead for the project.