Construction of Virginia’s largest solar farm under way to power AWS data centers

Construction of Virginia’s largest solar farm was announced last week. The new utility-scale solar facility, under development by Community Energy Solar, will power Amazon Web Services (AWS) data centers.

The 100MW project to be built in Southampton County will be enabled through long-term power purchase agreements between Dominion subsidiary, Dominion Energy, Inc., and an affiliate of Amazon’s cloud computing business, AWS.  Signal Energy will serve as the EPC contractor and Dominion will be the owner and operator.

According to AWS, Amazon Solar Farm US East 6 is expected to start generating approximately 210,000 megawatt hours of solar power annually by the end of 2017 – or enough to power over 19,000 US homes in a year. The solar farm will avoid the release of 134,377 tons of carbon dioxide, 631 tons of sulfur dioxide, 315 tons of nitrogen oxides, and 12 tons of particulate matter annually.

Pennsylvania-based Community Energy Solar past projects include, what was until this point, Virginia’s largest solar installation, the 80MW Amazon Solar Farm U.S. East 1 in Accomack County.

Amazon Web Services will purchase power from both facilities as part of their global effort to achieve carbon neutrality.

Governor Terry McAuliffe  said:

“Once complete, the new Southampton facility will be the largest solar farm ever constructed in Virginia. The pace of solar deployment has increased exponentially in recent years and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. With projects like this, we’re building both the new Virginia economy and a better future for our children.”

Brent Beerley, Executive VP of Community Energy Solar said:

“Amazon Web Services’ leadership and continued commitment to large scale solar energy is a key catalyst for this exciting new industry in Virginia. Community Energy Solar is thrilled to join forces again with partners AWS and Dominion for this second project, following the path created with Virginia’s first large scale solar farm – the Amazon Solar Farm US East in Accomack County.”

About Amazon Solar Farms US East

Source: Press Release by Virginia Government. Image Credit: © Community Energy Solar.