Facebook to power Irish operations with Brookfield PPA

The tech giant has signed a PPA to power a new data centre and its European headquarters with wind energy.

Facebook has signed a power purchase agreement with Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners to power its headquarters in Dublin and a new data centre in Ireland.

Brookfield will supply 150MW of wind energy over a 10-year period that will power the data centre under construction in Clonee, County Meath and its European headquarters in the Irish capital.

The deal with Facebook adds to Brookfield’s 465MW wind portfolio in Ireland According to Ralf Rank, a managing partner at Brookfield, renewables offer corporations long-term price stability where other energy sources like natural gas currently have low prices, but could increase in the future.

“As the costs of those commodities goes up, the cost of power goes up in most major markets around the world,” Rank said. “There are very few other technologies that can fix a price for a very long term other than renewables.”

Brookfield, which has hydroelectric assets comprising around 86 percent of its 10,000MW global portfolio, operates in North America, Columbia and Brazil. Rank said the renewable infrastructure fund has corporate buyer relationships with companies including load-serving utilities, high-quality industrial customers, consumer product manufacturers and real estate corporations.

“It’s very much something that we see as a growing trend where corporate entities are interested in buying renewable power on a long-term basis,” Rank said.

Several US tech companies are powering their operations with distributed energy, and the idea is moving to other industries. Microsoft and Dominion Virginia Power agreed a deal last month to build a 20MW solar farm in Virginia. The tech giant also has a 175MW project in Illinois and a 135MW project in Texas.

Amazon said last October it would power one of its data centres with a 208MW/hour wind farm in North Carolina, while Procter & Gamble has bought wind energy from a 123MW wind farm in Texas for its five fabric and home care manufacturing plants.