Potential out-of-state energy provider emerges for Facebook data center
An interesting wrinkle developed Monday in the competition to bring a Facebook data center to New Mexico.
The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission’s decision on a Public Service Co. of New Mexico energy plan is expected by Wednesday, but a comment submitted by Los-Angeles-based solar developer MaxxSolar asked the PRC to hold its decision and suggested it had an alternate plan that could power a massive data center using a solar farm plus battery storage.
The project appears to be a rework of what was known as the “ Belen Energy Center.” MaxxSolar CEO and President Gerald Rauch said in a phone interview that that project has already been redesigned and planned for Los Lunas, and is about two miles south of the site of Facebook’s proposed massive data center. The Village of Los Lunas passed a series of six industrial revenue bonds worth $5 billion each back in June.
“No. 1, we have proximity, and No. 2, we can deliver 100 percent green energy,” said Rauch. “The project is completely privately funded, and we already have a commitment of up to $350 million to develop this if Facebook signs a power purchase agreement.”
Rauch said the combined solar plus battery storage would be able to provide a firm source of electricity for the 60 MW needed to power the data center’s first phase, and that the company had already investigated and applied for an interconnect that would transmit electricity via an 115 kV line that runs through the current project site.