Why Facebook Is Running Its Servers on Solar Energy


Oct. 24 2017, Updated 6:36 a.m. ET

Renewable energy offset program

Facebook (FB) plans to power its upcoming Virginia data center with solar energy. Facebook has partnered with Dominion Energy (D) in a renewable energy program to offset electricity usage in its Virginia data center. The offset energy will be generated from solar, Bloomberg reported.

Facebook is not the only company seeking to run its operations on renewable electricity. In July 2017, Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Google announced that a new data center it built in the Netherlands last year would run on solar power. Google is working toward a target of powering all its global data centers entirely with renewable electricity by the end of 2017.

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Corporate commitment to renewables

Companies like Facebook, Google, Apple (AAPL), and Microsoft (MSFT) are investing in renewable energy as a way to decrease their expenses and to minimize the impact of their operations on the environment.

Facebook was among the companies that joined the “We Are Still In” coalition this year to oppose the decision by President Donald Trump to withdraw the US (SPY) from the Paris climate accord.

Cost synergies also inspire renewable energy investments

However, the prospects of cutting costs also influence renewable energy investments by these companies. Solar panel costs and efficiency have improved considerably over the past decade, which is encouraging businesses that want to cut their operating costs to invest in solar energy.


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