Digital Realty and Facebook announce renewable data centre project

By Andrew Woods
Digital Realty has announced the signing of a virtual power purchase to support Facebook's renewable energy goals at data centre fa...

Digital Realty has announced the signing of a virtual power purchase to support Facebook's renewable energy goals at data centre facilities it leases to the social media giant.  

Under the agreement, Digital Realty has executed a long-term renewable power purchase contract to secure approximately 80 megawatts of solar power capacity for Facebook. 

Digital Realty has contracted with SunEnergy1, which has developed and will own and operate the solar project, to be located within Virginia Electric and Power Company territory in North Carolina.  Under the terms of the agreement, all renewable energy certificates and environmental claims will be delivered to Facebook. 

This agreement marks the first back-to-back utility-scale renewable energy transaction between a data centre provider landlord utilising a virtual power purchase agreement to underpin the renewable energy supply dedicated to a customer. 

Digital Realty worked in partnership with Facebook to structure the transaction to align with Facebook's quality standards for new renewable energy projects within the same power grid as the data centre load.  

To-date, Digital Realty has contracted for approximately 745,000 megawatt-hours of renewable generation annually through long-term power purchase agreements, avoiding approximately 525,000 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 60,000 U.S. homes per year.  

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Digital Realty Chief Executive Officer A. William Stein said: “Our scale and position as a leader in data centre sustainability enabled us to execute this first of its kind agreement in support of Facebook's sustainability goals. Many of our customers have specific renewable energy requirements, and we work diligently to provide cost-competitive solutions tailored to their needs.  We were able to take Facebook's quality standards and timeline into consideration and deliver this solution in a competitive marketplace and at a competitive price.  We are very pleased to be part of the solution enabling Facebook to achieve its renewable energy goals.”

Bobby Hollis, Director of Global Energy and Site Selection at Facebook said: “Facebook is committed to supporting all of its operations with 100% renewable energy and to improving overall access to renewable markets. We are thrilled Digital Realty has entered into this agreement and hope this will serve as a model for other colocation customers seeking to support their operations with high-quality, renewable energy projects.”

 

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