Equinix, the renowned digital infrastructure company, has executed a new Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) in Australia, demonstrating an industry-wide aim to contribute additional clean power to regions traditionally seen as challenging for renewable energy projects. Adding to its PPAs in the US, Europe, the Nordics, France and Iberia, this latest Australian contract aligns with Equinix's strategy to support more than 1 Gigawatt of clean energy generation in high-impact markets.
Kevin Hagen, Interim CEO of the Clean Energy Buyers Association (CEBA), lauded the initiatives by data centre operators such as Equinix. "By executing PPAs and other contracts that establish long-term financial stability for developers of wind, solar, and other clean energy resources, these operators have catalysed the clean energy transition. These pioneering projects have revolutionised the electricity market in the U.S. and Europe. Now, they are leading the drive to stimulate local demand and alter markets in regions with a heightened opportunity for decarbonisation, such as Australia, India, and Southeast Asia," he explained.
The newly minted Australian PPA, Equinix's first long-term renewable energy deal in the Asia-Pacific region, is with TagEnergy. It comprises the procurement of 151 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy from the prospective expansion of the Golden Plains Wind Farm East project set for completion in 2029.
Christopher Wellise, Vice President, Sustainability at Equinix, explained the significance of such agreements: "PPAs are financial contracts that enable renewable energy projects, like wind and solar farms, to join local energy grids. By agreeing to purchase electricity from renewable generators at a fixed rate across the contract's lifespan, PPAs provide financial certainty, vital for the construction and operations of such projects."
As of now, Equinix has implemented 21 PPAs globally, leading to 3,000,000 MWh of renewable energy. "As we continue to expand our global data centre footprint, we are consistently assessing opportunities for greening the grids we move into. With the expected completion of the Golden Plains Wind Farm East project in 2029, all 21 of our PPAs are set to contribute over one gigawatt of renewable energy to local grids. Combined with our ongoing sustainability efforts, we anticipate reaching 100% renewable coverage across our global operations," elucidated Wellise.
In addition, Equinix was the first company in the data centre industry to pledge to be climate-neutral by aligning to a science-based target for emissions reduction across global operations and supply chains by 2030. Its commitment includes being a founding signatory of the EU Climate Neutral Data Centre Operator Pact, which is guiding the creation of sustainability prerequisites for the EU data centre industry to reach climate neutrality by 2030.
Equinix instigated its PPA programme in 2015, inking two wind PPAs in Texas and Oklahoma for 225 MW. The company added further to this portfolio in late 2021 and early 2022 with three Finnish PPAs that total 144 MW of new wind capacity projects. In 2023, 15 new wind and solar PPAs, amounting to over 500 MW, were signed across Europe, including in Sweden, Spain, Portugal, and France.
In supporting its customers' GHG reporting and compliance goals, Equinix's sustainability efforts span Scopes 1 to 3.