The past few years have seen a drastic increase in construction projects around the country. In fact, in 2016 alone, the U.S. construction market was worth about $1,162 billion. And within the next few years, Alabama will become home to another expensive construction project: solar energy installations.
TVA recently announced its plan to build Alabama’s largest solar energy installation in Colbert County. This installation will be part of a clean energy initiative to help power the Facebook data center that is currently under construction in Huntsville.
Working with two solar developers, TVA will be building two installations, one in Alabama and the other in Tennessee. These two solar farms will be able to provide the data center with 100% renewable energy. According to TVA, the two installations will generate a combined amount of electricity of 377 megawatts.
“TVA’s commitment to the environment and our diverse portfolio are among the top reasons why businesses choose to relocate to the Valley,” explained John Bradley, TVA’s senior vice president of Economic Development. “TVA’s ability to deliver large amounts of renewable, reliable energy at competitive rates makes the Valley an attractive place to do business and recruit quality jobs.”
Currently, the state’s largest solar farm is near LaFayette. But the new installation in Colbert County will be able to produce 277 megawatts, which is almost three times as much as the production in LaFayette.
Back in June, Facebook revealed its plan to develop a $750 million data center in North Huntsville Industrial Park. This project alone created about 100 jobs and the social media company has already expressed interest in the possibility of expanding to additional land.
While the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that $1,800 is spent each year on clothing by the average American, more and more people are continuing to invest more time and money into renewable energy. And Facebook is committed to supporting all data centers and offices with 100% renewable energy before 2020. While this is a big commitment, partnerships like the one with TVA will help make it possible.
Over the next 20 years, TVA plans to invest $8 billion into renewable energy projects. This government agency is seeing a huge increase in development through the partnership with Facebook. And these solar power projects can bring more jobs and more money back into the economy in both Alabama and Tennessee, especially if these projects continue to grow.