Digital Realty Trust, Inc. has announced multiple renewable energy and sustainability initiatives as a part of the company’s ongoing commitment to driving sustainable energy consumption within its data centers. The initiatives include a long-term agreement to procure wind power along with Digital Realty’s Green Bond Use-of-Proceeds Statement, which details the allocation of proceeds from the company’s green bond issued in 2015, to nine qualified development projects. 

Clean Energy Agreement

Digital Realty entered into a long-term agreement with E.ON Climate and Renewables North America, LLC. (E.ON) to procure approximately 400,000 megawatt-hours of wind power annually, which will offset 100% of Digital Realty’s U.S. colocation and interconnection energy usage, reducing the company’s carbon footprint by approximately 275,000 metric tons per year.

“Now more than ever, the overwhelming demand for real-time data, enhanced agility and scalability for online applications is increasing demand for power consumption within the data center,” said A. William Stein, Digital Realty’s chief executive officer. “Digital Realty recognizes the importance of addressing our customers’ growing demand for renewably powered data centers, and this agreement serves as another example of our deep commitment to sustainable and environmentally responsible business practices.”

The agreement will become effective in the third quarter of 2016, and will provide for an increase in the supply of new clean energy in the U.S. The environmental benefits from this agreement will have an impact comparable to taking 58,000 cars off the road each year, or offsetting the carbon emissions from 29,000 U.S. homes per year. In 2015, Digital Realty procured 2.9 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity on behalf of our customers to power the company’s owned and managed data centers. Of this total, 600 million kilowatt-hours were provided by renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and hydro. This agreement will increase the quantity of renewable energy sourced for the company’s owned and managed data centers by approximately two-thirds.

“This agreement complements our Clean Start℠ Program and further increases customer access to clean energy,” said Aaron Binkley, Director of Sustainability for Digital Realty. “By capitalizing on green power as a unique way to deliver highly efficient and sustainable solutions that meet the needs of an increasingly connected world, Digital Realty is raising the bar for the data center industry.”

Patrick Woodson, Chairman of E.ON North America, commented, “This collaboration with Digital Realty allows us to bring clean energy to power the very things making our lives digital. It is an early step in the path to powering our future, and we are excited to be a part of Digital Realty’s continuing efforts to maintain energy-efficient power delivery through sustainable means.”

Hervé Touati, managing director at the Rocky Mountain Institute and leader of the Business Renewables Center, commented, “Data centers are the backbone of today’s digital economy, and Digital Realty joins a growing list of companies procuring utility-scale renewable energy to create a sustainable digital infrastructure. We’re thrilled to support Digital Realty, whose business will lead to the development of additional wind energy capacity. Deals such as this pave the way for other corporations to follow and scale up their own renewable energy procurement.”

E.ON is one of the world’s largest owners of renewable power projects and is rapidly expanding its wind and solar energy portfolio. E.ON develops, owns, and operates some of the most efficient, highest-performing renewable wind and solar energy projects in the U.S. 

Green Bond Proceeds Allocated to Development Projects

Digital Realty also posted its Green Bond Use-of-Proceeds Statement, which details the use of the approximately $493 million of net proceeds raised through the issuance of a Green Bond in June 2015. Digital Realty has allocated the net proceeds to nine projects that have received certification under LEED, BREEAM, and CEEDA sustainable rating standards, as listed below.

  • 3825 NW Aloclek Place / Hillsboro, OR / U.S.
  • 43830 Devin Shafron Drive, Building F / Ashburn, VA / U.S.
  • Unit 1, Power Avenue, Manor Royal / Crawley / Surrey / UK
  • 7500 Metro Center Drive / Austin, TX / U.S.
  • 900 Quality Way / Richardson, TX / U.S.
  • 1-11 Templar Road / Sydney / Australia
  • 98 Radnor Drive / Melbourne / Australia
  • Grange Castle, Nangor Road / Dublin / Ireland
  • 43940 Digital Loudoun Plaza, Building G / Ashburn, VA / U.S.

The company’s Green Bond Use-of-Proceeds Statement can be found online.

“We are pleased to update stakeholders on our investments in industry-leading sustainable data center development,” said Andrew P. Power, Digital Realty’s chief financial officer. “Responsible investment that supports our sustainability initiatives aligns our activities with the needs of our customers, investors and the community.”