Digital Realty & Schneider: Powering Net Zero Data Centres

May 25 09:19 2024

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.

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.

“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. 

“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.

About Schneider Electric

Schneider Electric purpose is to empower all to make the most of our energy and resources, bridging progress and sustainability for all. We call this Life Is On. Our mission is to be your digital partner for Sustainability and Efficiency. We drive digital transformation by integrating world-leading process and energy technologies, end-point to cloud connecting products, controls, software and services, across the entire lifecycle, enabling integrated company management, for homes, buildings, data centers, infrastructure and industries. 

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