Digital Reality to source renewables for Chicago data centers

Digital Realty, a global provider of data center, colocation, and interconnection solutions, announced it is expanding its renewable energy and sustainability initiatives with two long-term agreements.

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.

It will source an additional 324,000 MWh 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 Start 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.

“We are committed to minimizing the impact of our operations on the environment, and to supplying our customers the sustainable solutions they want,” said Digital Realty Chief Executive Officer A. William Stein. “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.”

The first agreement, with Leeward Renewable Energy, will supply Digital Realty’s Chicago data centers with an anticipated 276,000 MWh of renewable wind power annually. The second agreement, with SunEnergy1, will supply Digital Realty’s Ashburn data centers with 48,000-MWh 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. 

“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,” stated, Leeward Renewable Energy Chief Executive Officer Greg Wolf. “We look forward to a long and healthy relationship with Digital Realty as we continue to serve clean energy customers in this growing market.”

The agreements will increase the quantity of renewable energy sourced from 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-MWh of renewable generation annually through long-term contracts, avoiding approximately 515,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year.

“Digital Realty remains a leader in data center sustainability, from energy conservation to clean energy to the issuance of green bonds,” said Digital Realty Director of Sustainability, Aaron Binkley. “Through our Clean Start 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.”

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.

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