Texas’ Seymour Hills Wind project is now complete and expected to become commercially operational in the coming weeks. The project is an investment of Akamai Technologies, a content delivery network and cloud service provider, which invested in the wind farm.
Headquartered in Massachusetts, the company’s aggregate Texas area data center operations will soon be powered by 8 MW of renewable energy (or up to 192 MWh of power per day), thanks to the new wind site. This represents about 7% of the company’s global power load.
The 20-year investment places Akamai at the forefront of an emerging trend in which mid-market corporations are investing in renewable energy projects as a way to decarbonize their operations.
“It used to be that only large companies could purchase renewable energy,” said Noam Freedman, senior VP, networks at Akamai. “But now, widely distributed organizations like Akamai can buy renewable energy in amounts that suit their needs. Akamai is leading the way for clean energy procurement to be part of energy consumption plans for all companies. By the end of 2019, we expect to have another wind farm and a solar array in operation, bringing our total to 45 MW of sustainable power.”
The Seymour Hills development has 12 wind turbines and at its full operation will create 30 MW of sustainably sourced energy. It is part of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which manages the flow of electric power to more than 25 million Texas customers — representing about 90% of the state’s electric load.
As the independent system operator for the region, ERCOT schedules power on the electric grid that connects more than 46,500 miles of transmission lines and 650-plus generation units. The Seymour Hills project inclusion in ERCOT means that Akamai is generating power on the same grid that powers its operations in the Dallas metro area. In other words, Akamai feeds power onto the grid in which it resides, making these data center operations carbon-neutral and fully renewable.
“ENGIE is committed to providing clean, renewable energy for corporate customers like Akamai, whose pivotal leadership will help drive the transition to zero-carbon emissions,” said Emily Cohen, VP of commercial strategy for U.S. wind development at ENGIE North America, the owner of the project. “We are thrilled to see the Seymour Hills project completed and look forward to producing significant benefits for customers, landowners and community.”