Despite the many problems involving Facebook, the company is at least doing the right thing concerning renewable energy.
A massive solar farm in West Texas is part of the company’s plans to power 100 percent of its operations via clean energy by the end of 2020.
The solar project is called Prospero. It represents a slightly different way that Facebook has invested in renewable energy projects to date. Instead of just purchasing clean energy from wind or solar farms, the company is directly investing in a solar project. Facebook will be investing hundreds of millions of dollars into Prospero, in addition to the $416 million in acquired financing.
Once completed, the project will have a capacity of about 379 megawatts. This is enough solar for about 300,000 homes.
Another notable idea concerning the financials of this project has to do with taxes. There are federal tax credits available for this or any other solar panel installation in the U.S. Typically the solar installer (or in the case of a residential install, the homeowner) would be able to take advantage of the credits. However, in this case, the solar developers do not have enough taxable income, but Facebook does. The company will utilize the tax credit to help offset their tax bills.
This project is also another example in which fossil fuel companies are starting to invest in renewables. Shell will be purchasing some of the electricity from this project in the form of renewable energy credits. These credits that Shell purchases will then be sold to other companies.
It’s great to have yet another example of large corporations seeing the value of solar power and other sources of clean energy. Again, this simply means one thing; solar power is the winner from an economic standpoint. Basically if a homeowner or business is investing fossil fuels, they’re paying too much.