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Onshore Wind Farms Iowa Wind Farm

Published on December 2nd, 2013 | by Adam Johnston

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New Iowa Facebook Data Plant Supplied By 100% Wind Energy



Facebook is always looking for new friends in the environmental community, as it tries to promote themselves as a green IT leader, despite ongoing controversies.

The social media giant last week announced their new data center opening in Altoona in 2015, will be 100% supplied by wind energy from a local plant.

Iowa Wind Farm

Iowa Wind Farm via Flickr (Some Rights Reserved)

Initially, Facebook teamed with local wind developer RPM Access to build the wind farm in the Hawkeye state. However, as the process went along, MidAmerican Energy won out to own build and maintain the Wellsburg wind plant. Schedule to open in 2014, the wind farm will provide 138 MW of clean renewable energy to the new Altoona data center.

Facebook has recently built other data centers in Oregon, North Carolina, and outside the US in Sweden.

It’s a part of the companies goal of having 25% clean energy for their worldwide data centers by 2015, according to the release:

The project brings additional investment and jobs to the region, and in effect it makes it possible, on an annualized basis, for 100% of our energy needs to be met entirely with one of Iowa’s most abundant renewable resources. We are committed to reaching 25% clean and renewable energy in our global data center mix in 2015, and we will continue to work with utilities and other partners on supply options for our other data centers.

Despite Facebook and their social media competitor Google’s constant battle against each other in recent years to boost renewable energy use and more efficient data center’s, Facebook has had their share of environmental controversy. Two years ago, Greenpeace launched a successful “unfriend coal” campaign to boost the companies renewable energy use while promoting better transparency on the subject.

Meanwhile, Facebook and Google’s involvement with ALEC, the free-market lobby group which has pushed against renewable energy and climate legislation, hasn’t helped their images either.

Will this new project help Facebook garner new green friends? That is up to the people to decide.

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About the Author

A University of Winnipeg graduate who received a three year B.A. with a combined major in Economics and Rhetoric, Writing & Communications. Currently attempting to be a freelance social media coordinator. My eventual goal is to be a clean tech policy analyst down the road while I sharpen my skills as a renewable energy writer. Currently working on a book on clean tech and how to relate it to a broader audience. You can follow me on Twitter @adamjohnstonwpg or at www.adammjohnston.wordpress.com



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