• Digital Realty company is projected to buy adequate renewable power in Texas.
  • The company will buy approximately 160,000 MWh of solar power per year from Pattern Energy’s new Phoenix Solar Project in Fannin County.
  • Digital Realty manages about 13 data centers in the Dallas area.

Digital Realty is expected to purchase adequate renewable power in Texas to cover up most of the power utilized by its widespread data center footprint in the country.

The company recently declared its latest investments in Dallas. The company agreed to buy solar energy to power its data centers in the state and intends to develop colocation capacity.

Digital is planning to buy approximately 160,000 MWh of solar power each year from Pattern Energy’s new Phoenix Solar Project in Fannin County. Further, the company added, “The 12-year power purchase agreement comes on the heels of an announcement it made in April of a deal to buy 262,800MWh of renewable energy annually from a new wind generation project being developed in Texas by Bearkat Wind Energy II.”

“Both projects are expected to come online in the middle of 2021. When they do, Digital will have gone from buying enough renewable energy to cover for more than 20 percent of its data center energy consumption in the Dallas-Fort Worth market to 70 percent,” Aaron Binkley, Digital Realty’s Senior Director of Sustainability, told Data Center Knowledge.

Digital Realty manages about 13 data centers in the Dallas region. The company also declared its strategy to increase the colocation capacity of a data center in its key provincial interconnection hub.

“We look to add renewables where we are growing most rapidly and most robustly, and we have a sizeable footprint in the Dallas area, and that footprint is growing, including colocation and our hyperscale offerings,” Binkley said.

Rising demand from consumers who want to work more sustainably, Digital Realty and more data center suppliers have expanded their focus to supply renewable energy for consumers’ betterment.

The Dallas-Fort Worth data center market

Several consumers of Digital Realty in the Dallas-Fort Worth data center industry demand renewable power. Dallas-Fort Worth is a major data center market for several reasons. Few of them are as follows:

  • Availability of skilled workforce
  • Business-friendly regulatory environment
  • Strong start-up groups

“Texas has the most liquid market in the country for renewables, so if you want wind and solar, it’s there, and it’s cost-competitive,” Binkley commented.

Renewables around the clock

The agreement is done by the company to ensure that renewable energy is being produced over the clock to counteract the colossal consumption by its data center operations. Wind turbines produce most of the renewable power at night.

“What we found is that (wind) covers the load well in the evenings, but not as well during the day,” Binkley said. “Solar is a perfect complement during the day. There is good alignment to match our loads more completely.”

Science-based data center renewable energy objectives

Since 2016, Digital Realty has purchased sufficient wind power to compensate energy utilization of its US retail colocation company. The latest contracts for wind and solar power in Texas will add to that. But the company will also support Digital’s attempts to join a science-based emission reduction objective.

The company announced in late April 2020 that it would set a goal affiliated with the Science-Based Targets Initiative. It is an association with more than 860 global organizations that are interested in setting carbon emission reduction goals.

“We are going through a rigorous process of analysis and data validation with the Science-Based Targets Initiative,” Binkley said. “We haven’t finalized our target, but we will finalize it shortly.”