There is a lot of sun hitting the state of Texas, and Facebook is taking advantage.
The social media site is building a massive solar farm in West Texas that's will be one of the largest renewable energy projects in the nation. It's also the company's first direct investment in renewable energy.
When the $416 million project is online, it will crank out 379 megawatts. That’s enough to power 72,000 homes.
UTSA Professor Walter Richardson says, because of the social media site's brand recognition, this will shine a spotlight on renewable energy.
"Research is really going to be kicked into high gear because of the Facebook plant."
He predicts advancements in both energy storage and transmission will come out of the investment in Texas
While Facebook's investment is a splash, it's not the first. Earlier this year, Google announced they are buying the output of 1.6 million solar panels to power two new data center campuses in Tennessee and Alabama.
Dr. Taylor Harvey at Texas A&M's Energy Institute predicts other businesses will soon follow suit, thanks to the tech industry's cutting-edge research.
"Solar, in the right location, has been close to the least expensive type of energy you can build, but not many people know that."
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