Digital Realty has announced it is expanding its renewable energy and sustainability initiatives with two long-term agreements to source approximately 324,000 additional megawatt-hours of renewable wind and solar power annually for the company's Chicago and Ashburn data center properties. The output will supply Digital Realty's newly expanded 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 megawatt-hours of renewable wind power annually. The second agreement, with SunEnergy, will supply Digital Realty's Ashburn data centers with 48,000 megawatt-hours of renewable 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 will increase the quantity of renewable energy sourced for the company's owned and managed data centers in the U.S. by 80%. Following the expansion, Digital Realty will have contracted for approximately 721,000 megawatt-hours of renewable generation annually through long-term contracts, avoiding approximately 515,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. The environmental benefits from Digital Realty's renewable energy sourcing efforts will have an impact comparable to meeting the energy needs of 55,000 U.S. homes 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," A. William Stein, chief executive officer, Digital Realty. "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."
"We are happy to support Digital Realty's sustainability efforts through the long-term power purchase agreement from our first-of-its-kind repowering project in Lee County. We look forward to a long and healthy relationship with Digital Realty as we continue to serve clean energy customers in this growing market," said Greg Wolf, chief executive officer, Leeward Renewable Energy.
"Digital Realty remains a leader in data center sustainability, from energy conservation to clean energy to the issuance of green bonds. 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," said Aaron Binkley, director of sustainability, Digital Realty.