New Delhi: Striving to fulfil its ambitions of turning carbon neutral by 2030, Facebook has just signed a deal to buy renewable energy from Mumbai-based CleanMax, a homegrown clean energy firm. Notably, this is Facebook’s first such deal in India.
CleanMax will sell energy produced by its 32-megawatt wind power project located in southern Karnataka state to Facebook. Both companies will work together for many other similar projects. They are also planning to supply renewable power into India’s electric grid.
In this partnership, CleanMax is going to take care of the operational side of the power projects, while Facebook will leverage its deep pockets to buy the power off the grid using environmental attribute certificates, or carbon credits.
Facebook's head of renewable energy, Urvi Parekh, told Reuters that the firm typically doesn't own the power plants. “Instead signs "long-term" electricity purchasing agreements with the renewable power company. That enables the project to seek out the financing that it would need," she said.
The social media giant has already struck similar deals in Singapore with energy providers such as Sunseap Group, Terrenus Energy and Sembcorp Industries. Projects set up by Facebook there can produce 160 MW of solar power. “The electricity generated from these plants will power the tech giant's first Asian data centre that is set to start operations next year,” she added.
According to the International Energy Agency’s findings, data centres driving tech corporations such as Facebook could use up as much as 1% of the world's total energy. That’s why tech companies are now leveraging more renewable energy to power their businesses.
Amazon, Google’s parent Alphabet Inc and Microsoft, among other tech companies, have already pledged to turn carbon neutral by the 2030s. All the companies are aiming to reduce the carbon content from their supply chains as well.
On Thursday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced separately that the company's global operations are now supported wholly by renewable energy and that it has reached net-zero emissions.