Digital Realty - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Industrial, Solar, Sourcing Renewables, Wind  -  December 5, 2017

Digital Realty buys 96 MW of wind, solar capacity

Data center, colocation and interconnection solutions company Digital Realty announced two new long-term agreements to source approximately 96 MW, or 324,000 additional MWh annually, of renewable energy for its Chicago and Ashburn, Va., data center properties.

The deals mark an expansion of its renewable energy and sustainability initiatives; the output will supply Digital Realty's growing Clean Start2 Program, which makes the benefits of renewable energy available to customers interested in procuring net-new, locally produced renewable energy at competitive rates through their data center supplier.

The first agreement, with Leeward Renewable Energy, will supply Digital Realty's Chicago data centers with an anticipated 276,000 MWh of wind power annually, according to a Dec. 5 news release. The second agreement, with SunEnergy1, will supply Digital Realty's Ashburn data centers with 48,000 MWh of solar power annually. Both projects are expected to come online in 2018. Digital Realty was assisted in the contracting process by advisory firm Schneider Electric-Renewable Choice Energy.

The agreements are expected to increase the quantity of renewable energy sourced for the company's U.S. owned and managed data centers by 80%. Following the expansion, Digital Realty will have contracted for approximately 721,000 MWh of renewable generation annually through long-term contracts, avoiding approximately 515,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. 

"We are committed to minimizing the impact of our operations on the environment, and to supplying our customers the sustainable solutions they want," Digital Realty CEO A. William Stein said in a statement. "With these two new agreements, we have meaningfully expanded our renewable offerings to customers, further strengthening our ability to meet the rising demand for clean energy."

Digital Realty Director of Sustainability Aaron Binkley said in a statement that the news builds on the company's work in sustainability from energy conservation to clean energy and the issuance of green bonds. In 2016, the company became one of the first REITs, and the first data center REIT, to successfully complete a green bond issuance.

"Through our Clean Start2 Program, we are pleased to expand the options available to customers who want to use renewable energy at competitive rates from local and newly-built wind and solar facilities for their data center needs," Binkley said. 

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