Community Energy Solar is to build the largest solar photovoltaic (PV) facility in the USA’s mid-Atlantic region to help power Amazon Web Services’ data centre operations in the region.

The firm announced that it has been granted a final permit to build the 80 MW Amazon Solar Farm US East in the state of Virginia. State Governor Terry McAuliffe said that the solar sector "holds tremendous potential for economic growth in Virginia". He added: "I look forward to bringing more projects like this to the Commonwealth."

The solar farm will be the first of its kind in Virginia. It will be owned and developed by Community Energy, which has signed a power purchase agreement with Amazon Web Services.

Power from the project will be delivered into the electrical grids that supply Amazon Web Services’ data centre activities in the central and eastern USA. Commercial operation of the solar farm is expected for 2016.

The solar farm will consist of a cluster of solar projects across 1000 acres in Accomack County. It will use single-axis tracker technology to maximize its use of the region’s solar resources.