Economy

Facebook bringing $1-billion data center to Virginia

Facebook bringing $1-billion data center to Virginia”

"It's a model for other large companies that want to locate or expand into Virginia, access safe reliable affordable clean energy, and meet their sustainability goals", said Bob Blue with Dominion Energy. Because matching energy supply with demand while ensuring their rates comply with regulations is a hard balance utilities have to maintain, many of them have been resistant to adding a new product like renewable energy, which adds an extra layer of complexity in rate-setting to ensure extra costs a utility incurs doesn't affect all its customers' rates.

Facebook is moving into Virginia. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe announced Facebook's $750 million investment in Henrico during a Thursday morning press conference at the Virginia State Capitol.

"I am so pleased to see Facebook invest in our community, bringing more than 100 tech job opportunities for the hardworking people of the Commonwealth", said Congressman Donald McEachin.

Peterson says Facebook chose Virginia after a number of meetings with Dominion Energy Virginia that created a new tariff that will enable large enterprises to get a special rate for a facility to be powered 100-percent by renewable energy. "We now have more data centers than any state in America". In 2015, Google became the first customer of Duke's renewable-energy tariff. Through Schedule RF, Facebook will support energy expected to come from the sun.

To qualify for the voluntary and experimental rate option, a customer would be required to bring new electrical load and agree to purchase environmental attributes from renewable energy sources. Facebook currenlty has data centers in Oregon, North Carolina and Iowa. Centers in Fort Worth, Texas; Los Lunas, New Mexico; and New Albany, Ohio are now under construction.

Facebook will be eligible for millions of dollars in state and local tax breaks for the new project, which officials said will create thousands of construction jobs and 100 full-time employees when complete. Henrico County slashed property taxes almost 90-percent for this, and all future, data centers.

HCA Virginia's Henrico Doctors' Hospital this week announced the opening of its new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.



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