Equinix, Inc. has announced that it has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) for 105 megawatts (MWAC) of new solar power with SunEdison, Inc., the largest global renewable energy development company. This purchase will cover all of Equinix's California data centers, including 11 facilities located in the Los Angeles and Silicon Valley metro areas, as well as its Redwood City, CA global headquarters. With this deployment, Equinix's data center footprint will increase its use of clean, renewable sources from 30% to 43% globally.
The project, known as the Mount Signal Solar II project, will be located in the territory of San Diego Gas & Electric near Calexico, California, and just north of the United States-Mexico border. Construction of the 150 MWAC total capacity solar farm is expected to begin in 2015 and achieve commercial operation in the second half of 2016.
"The Mount Signal Solar project is another demonstration of SunEdison's ability to deliver cost effective renewable energy. Smart companies like Equinix know they can rely on SunEdison to help them save money, meet their sustainability goals, and create valuable jobs in the local community," said Paul Gaynor, executive vice president, SunEdison EMEA and Americas.
The Mount Signal Solar II project is expected to generate 300,000 MWh per year to offset Equinix's electrical consumption. The project will effectively reduce Equinix's carbon footprint by over 180 million lbs of CO2 annually — the equivalent of taking 18,000 passenger cars off of U.S. roads each year.1 Equinix will also receive Green-e certified renewable energy certificates from SunEdison to bridge the approximately 12 months from contract execution to project completion.
"Equinix's purpose is to power the digital economy and we believe that it is important to do this in an environmentally sustainable way. This PPA is a major milestone in achieving our long-term goal of reaching 100% renewable power and it solidifies Equinix's position as a global data center leader in sustainability," said Karl Strohmeyer, president, Equinix Americas.
Earlier this year Equinix announced its commitment to 100% clean and renewable energy for its entire global footprint of 105 data centers located in 33 markets. Through ongoing development of partnerships Equinix continues to deploy innovative new technologies to make this commitment a reality. Most recently it deployed a 342 kWp PV solar system at its SG3 International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data center in Singapore and is in the process of installing a 1MW fuel cell system, fueled by bio-gas, at its Silicon Valley (SV5) data center.
Equinix also announced today that it has signed on to the World Resources Institute (WRI) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers' Principles, which are used to advocate for easier access to, cost competitiveness of, and increased grid use of renewable energy sources. Additionally, Equinix has joined the Rocky Mountain Institute's Business Renewables Center (BRC) which is a collaborative platform aimed at accelerating corporate renewable energy procurement. SunEdison is a founding project developer member of the BRC.
"Equinix is demonstrating its sustainability leadership in the fast growing, power intensive, data center industry. It is exciting to have Equinix as a member of the BRC, working with SunEdison, one of our founding members, to reach impressive renewable targets in record time. I am also pleased that, as a member of our BRC community, Equinix is ready to take steps to share some of its experience with other corporate buyers to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy. The shared goal of our community is to add another 60 GW of wind and solar energy by 2030, and we need more companies like Equinix to blaze the trail," said Herve Touati, managing director, Rocky Mountain Institute.
1. Calculated by using U.S. EPA eGRID 2014 v1 regional emissions factors and Global Warming Potentials from the IPCC 4th Assessment and the U.S. EPA GHG Equivalencies Calculator