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Facebook has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with US-based First Solar, for power generated from its 122 MW Cove Mountain 2 photovoltaic plant in Utah.

The agreement will power Facebook’s Eagle Mountain data centre in the state.

Construction is expected to start on the plant near the town of Enterprise in Iron County. The plant will be operational in 2020.

The project is expected to generate around 450 construction jobs, rising to a maximum of over one thousand during peak construction.

Once operational, Cove Mountain 2 is expected to generate electricity equivalent to the electricity needs of 36,000 Utah homes.

The social media giant has signed a previous PPA with First Solar’s 85MW Cove Mountain plant, to power its Prineville data centre in Oregon.

The purchase is covered by the Schedule 34 Renewable Energy Tariff, which allows customers to work with utility Rocky Mountain Power and meet renewable energy goals whilst facilitating the development of new renewable energy plants.

Facebook director of energy and infrastructure at Facebook Paul Clements said: “This project is an important part of our commitment to support all of our data centres and offices with 100% renewable energy in 2020.”

Rocky Mountain Power chief executive Gary Hoogeveen said: “Rocky Mountain Power continues to develop creative ways to help individual customers such as Facebook meet their sustainability goals while keeping rates low and reliability high for all of our customers.”