Facebook has signed a deal to buy renewable energy in India from a local firm’s wind power project, a first such deal for the social media giant in India. It also claims to have reached net-zero emissions as its global operations, in 2020, were wholly supported by renewable energy.
Facebook and Mumbai-based CleanMax, in a joint statement, said the 32 megawatt wind power project, located in southern Karnataka state, is part of a larger portfolio of wind and solar projects. “CleanMax will own and operate the projects, while Facebook will buy the power off the grid using environmental attribute certificates or carbon credits,” it said. “About half of the project’s capacity has recently been commissioned and is already generating power.”
Urvi Parekh, Facebook’s head of renewable energy, said the company typically doesn’t own the power plants, but 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.”
Parekh said the social media company has similar partnerships in Singapore with energy providers Sunseap Group, Terrenus Energy and Sembcorp Industries on projects that can produce 160 MW of solar power. Facebook had earlier said that the electricity generated from these plants will power the company’s first Asian centre.
In regards to net-zero emissions, the social network made the announcement ahead of Earth Day, an annual event on April 22 that focuses on environmental protection. The milestone shows what tech firms are doing to offset the harmful impacts that have on the environment as they make new devices and power data centres amid a growing appetite for tech products.
By saying that its operations have reached net-zero emissions, Facebook means “removing the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere as we emit”.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, these emissions contribute to some pollution and a warmer climate. The social media said in the last three years, it cut down on its greenhouse gas emissions by 94%, surpassing its 75% reduction goal. Some of the emissions which the platform reduced came from its data centres, offices and other buildings the company leases.