Digital Realty & Schneider: Powering Net Zero Data Centres

Digital Realty's MRS data centre campus in Marseille
With Schneider Electric, Digital Realty has signed five renewable energy PPAs, totalling 134MW, to bring its global renewable energy contract to 1.4GW

A data centre giant’s landmark renewable energy commitment is set to change the wider digital landscape as demand for interconnectivity and green power grows.

Digital Realty, with help from fellow data centre powerhouse Schneider Electric, has signed five new power purchase agreements (PPAs) to serve its operations in Spain and France with clean, renewable energy, underscoring the ever-increasing demand for digital services and clean energy to power these hungry workloads.

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Digital Realty is committed to expanding its renewable energy coverage globally and meeting its sustainability goals, including the long-term ambition to make 100% renewable energy available to customers, achieve carbon neutrality across Scope 1 and 2 emissions for its French data centre portfolio from 2020 to 2030 and to attain carbon neutrality for its entire EU data centre portfolio by 2030 in line with the EU Climate Neutral Data Centre Pact.

Digital Realty: Five landmark PPAs in France and Spain

In Spain, Digital Realty has signed a package solar deal comprising three separate 12-year agreements. Developed by Spanish solar developer BRUC, the projects in Cadiz and Zaragoza, CEO Luis Venero says, will play into its strategy of achieving stable, long-term income with reputed companies “that share our vision of a renewable energy transition to fight against climate change”.

Wind and solar projects in France and Spain will power Digital Realty data centres. Credit: American Public Power Association

Just north, in France, Digital Realty has signed two 15-year deals for wind energy in France. With wpd as developer, small wind farms in Bretagne and Hauts-de-France will provide a predictable renewable energy supply for its sites.

Aaron Binkley, VP of Sustainability at Digital Realty

“We are proud to support our customers’ objectives to reduce their carbon footprint,” says wpd’s French Onshore President Grégoire Simon. “PPA contracts offer cost-effective and predictable energy supply solutions for companies wishing to commit to the energy transition.”

Collectively, the five PPAs reprepresent around 347GWh of renewable energy, enough to power 200,000 European households a year. These projects will add to the pool of renewable energy across Europe where Digital Realty’s operations have been 100% matched with renewable energy since 2020.

Schneider Electric’s SVP of the Secure Power Division in Europe, Marc Garner, added: “The data centre industry is one of the world’s most critical sectors, powering the global digital economy and driving the green transition through the adoption, generation and development of renewable power. 

Marc Garner, SVP of the Secure Power Division Europe at Schneider Electric

“PPAs such as these are integral to its future, helping energy-intensive industries to simultaneously reap the financial and sustainability benefits of green innovation, and we’re glad to support Digital Realty as it continues to decarbonize its world-leading data centre portfolio.”

Digital Realty’s sustainability strategy

Digital Realty’s commitment to ESG is helping enterprises cut costs and meet their sustainability goals, too. It was the first data centre organisation of its calibre to join the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi), which has led to make the following pledges as part of its commitment.

As part of the SBTi commitment, Digital Realty says it will and/or has:
  • Cut Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 68% and Scope 3 emissions by 24% by 2030
  • Matched all 120 data centres worldwide with renewable electricity
  • Executed 15 renewable energy PPAs across the world
  • Generates around 2,200GWh of renewable energy annually.

“The signing of these most recent deals in Spain and France is the result of the continued execution of Digital Realty’s sustainability strategy, designed to support the development of high-quality renewables and strengthen our renewable energy coverage,” said Aaron Binkley, VP of Sustainability at Digital Realty.

“We’re committed to continuing to expand our renewable energy portfolio and making progress towards our global sustainability goals.”

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