Google will power two southern US data centers with Tennessee sunshine

TVA, Origis Energy help Google get to 100% renewable energy for its data centers with 100-MW solar farm in Obion County.

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) said Monday that the new 100-megawatt solar facility in Obion County, Tennessee, will supply energy to Google’s data centers in Clarksville, Tennessee, and Hollywood, Alabama.

Florida-based solar developer Origis Energy is using TVA’s Green Invest program to develop the solar farm. The program helps customers meet their long-term sustainability goals with new renewable energy projects. In the past two years, Green Invest has generated $1.4 billion in economic activity in TVA’s service area.  

Through a long-term power purchase agreement, Origis Energy will own and operate the plant. The project will create more than 300 construction jobs, with additional employment for 8-10 fulltime operations and maintenance staff. Origis plans to have the solar facility operational by the end of 2022, pending environmental reviews. 

“TVA’s Green Invest can deliver clean, reliable renewable energy at a competitive price — stimulating growth across our seven-state region and giving our region a competitive advantage through public power,” said Chris Hansen, TVA vice president, Origination and Renewables.

“This Tennessee solar milestone is another demonstration of the success of TVA’s Green Invest partnership,” said Johan Vanhee, Origis Energy chief commercial officer and chief procurement officer. “Such utility innovations are helping Google reach its aim to be the first major company to operate carbon free by 2030. We are very pleased to add 100 megawatts to this goal while contributing to the economic development of Obion County.”

To power the data centers, Google had already purchased a total of 266 megawatts of power generated by multiple solar farms linked into the TVA electric grid.  

 “Google is the world’s largest corporate buyer of renewable energy and our goal is to run our business on carbon-free energy everywhere, at all times, by 2030,” said Reid Spolek, with Data Center Energy Strategy at Google. “Working with TVA and Origis through Green Invest will help move us closer to this goal.”      

Monday’s announcement comes on the heels of four other major Green Invest deals TVA completed this year: General MotorsVanderbilt UniversityKnoxville Utilities Board and Facebook.  

“TVA is a job creator, and we are looking for creative ways to use our solar programs to bring high-paying jobs to the communities we serve,” said Hansen. “By integrating public-private partnerships with clean energy, we can make our region the premier destination for businesses that want to achieve their sustainability goals,” said Hansen.

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