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Enel Building Wind Farm to Power Facebook Nebraska Data Center

Enel plans to invest $430 million in wind-power project; also began operations at 300-megawatt Missouri wind farm

Chiara Albanese and Brian Eckhouse (Bloomberg) -- Enel SpA, Europe’s biggest utility by market value, started work on a 320-megawatt wind farm in Nebraska to power a new Facebook Inc. data center in the state.

Rome-based Enel will invest about $430 million to build the Rattlesnake Creek plant, according to a statement Tuesday. About 200 megawatts of the plant’s output will be sold to Facebook. The data center will be about 120 miles (193 kilometers) from the project site in Dixon County.

Enel has been investing significantly in the U.S. as part of a strategic plan to diversify beyond Italy. Its North American unit operates about 100 power plants with more than 3.6 gigawatts of capacity. Enel is the largest wind operator in Kansas and the second-largest wind operator in Oklahoma, according to the statement.

Enel also began operations at its 300-megawatt Rock Creek wind farm in Atchison County, Missouri. Enel invested about $500 million in the project, which has long-term deals to sell electricity to Kansas City Power & Light Co.

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