Meta signs PPA with Apex for 225 MW wind project in Iowa


Meta signs PPA with Apex for 225 MW wind project in Iowa


Meta, formerly known as Facebook, has sealed a deal to acquire wind energy from Apex Clean Energy under a power purchase agreement (PPA). The company will purchase the entire 225 MW capacity of the Great Pathfinder Wind project in Boone and Hamilton Counties, Iowa. The wind farm is scheduled to operate in 2022.

“Our collaboration with Meta puts Great Pathfinder Wind as a best-in-class clean energy project helping communities across Iowa,” said Mark Goodwin, president and CEO of Apex Clean Energy. “Taking advantage of Iowa's vast wind resources will hasten the deployment of clean energy, create local jobs, and generate significant local and state economic investment—a trifecta of benefits that can only be achieved through trust.”

In 2013, Facebook began construction on its Altoona data center. The business previously announced expansions in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 and released a seventh expansion in December 2021, bringing the Iowa complex to a dozen structures totaling more than five million square feet (464,500 sqm). The latest stage of construction is slated to be completed in 2025, after which the corporation will have spent more than US$2.5 billion on the site.

“Through this new wind project, we are happy to collaborate with Apex to continue delivering new renewable energy resources, investment, and jobs to Iowa,” said Meta's director of renewable energy, Urvi Parekh. “Iowa's capacity to host high-quality wind projects while also providing a friendly business environment has made it an excellent location for our data center, and we hope that this investment indicates our sustained commitment to the state and the local community.”

Apex has signed five PPAs with Meta, including a 61.6 MW PPA for its Altavista Solar project in Virginia, a 200MW PPA for the Aviator Wind East project in Texas, a 175 MW PPA with the Lincoln Land Wind farm in Illinois, and, most recently, a 197 MW PPA with the Jayhawk Wind project in Kansas in March 2021.

According to Facebook, it has contracts in place for more than 6 GW of wind and solar energy across 18 states and five countries. Its operations have been powered entirely by renewable energy as of 2020, and the company has achieved net-zero emissions.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a post, “We've achieved net-zero emissions for our operations, and we're one of the world's largest importers of renewable energy." "This has resulted in US$8 billion invested in 63 wind and solar projects across the world, creating tens of thousands of jobs.”

According to Apex, the new wind farm will create US$32 million in local tax income, US$74 million in landowner payments, 270 full-time local construction jobs, and nine long-term local operations jobs.

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