Facebook parent Meta will use the full output of a 225-megawatt wind farm project in central Iowa to help power its data center in Altoona, wind energy developer Apex Clean Energy said Monday.
Apex said Meta will buy all the energy generated by the Great Pathfinder wind farm in Boone and Hamilton counties to help support the growing facility. Meta announced in December that it will be the company's largest in the world globally upon completion in 2025 of a final expansion.
The project will bring the total floorspace of Meta's Altoona complex to more than 5 million square feet.
Great Pathfinder Wind is expected to begin commercial operations in 2022.
Meta, which first announced plans for the Altoona in 2013, has invested roughly $2.5 billion in the site, which employs about 400 people.
Apex, a Virginia renewable energy developer, said the Great Pathfinder project will help Meta continue to meet its goal of operating with 100% renewable energy. It's Meta's second power purchase agreement in Iowa, Apex said.
“Iowa’s ability to host high-quality wind projects, while providing a welcoming business environment, has made it a great home for our data center," Urvi Parekh, Meta's renewable energy director, said in a statement.
Apex CEO Mark Goodwin said in a statement that wind energy in Iowa creates local jobs and generates "significant local and state economic investment — a trifecta of benefits."
Apex said the Great Pathfinder Wind project will generate about $32 million in local tax revenue, $74 million in payments to landowners, 270 full-time local jobs during construction, and nine long-term local operations positions.
According to a Nuclear Regulatory Commission document, one megawatt of generating capacity — 1 million watts — is enough to power 400 to 900 average homes, depending on location.
Donnelle Eller covers agriculture, the environment and energy for the Register. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 515-284-8457.
This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Altoona Facebook data center to use Great Pathfinder wind farm energy