Facebook Announces First Deal to Buy Renewable Energy in India

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Facebook, the social media giant has signed a deal to buy renewable energy in India from a local firm’s wind project.

The 32 megawatt wind power project, located in southern Karnataka state, is part of a larger portfolio of wind and solar projects that Facebook and Mumbai-based CleanMax are working together on for supplying renewable power into India’s electrical grid, they said in a joint statement.

It the the first such deal in the South Asian nation, the companies said.

CleanMax will own and operate the projects, while Facebook will buy the power off the grid using environmental attribute certificates, or carbon credits.

India is Facebook’s biggest market by users said Urvi Parekh, Facebook’s head of renewable energy.

“The company typically doesn’t own the power plants but instead signs “long-term” electricity purchasing agreements with the renewable power company. That enables the project to seek out the financing that it would need” she added.

In Singapore, Facebook has announced a similar partnership with power developers Sunseap Group, Terrenus Energy and Sembcorp Industries for production of 160 MW of solar power. This clean energy will power the tech giant’s first Asian data centre that is set to start operations next year, she added.

Data centres driving tech companies like Facebook use up as much as 1% of the world’s total energy, the International Energy Agency said last year.

Tech companies like Amazon, Alphabet Inc and Microsoft have pledged to operate carbon-free and achieve net-zero emissions, as demand for data and digital services is expected to see a sustained rise.

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