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Digital Realty lines up hefty solar, wind projects for APAC datacenters

Not enough to meet the whole energy suck of sites, but 200 tonnes of CO2 nothing to sniff at

Datacenter biz Digital Realty has several renewable energy projects on the go in the Asia-Pacific region, among them a pretty hefty solar buildout.

The global datacenter operator is hoping to hit its global carbon emissions targets by lining up renewable electricity supply contracts for its facilities located in Australia and Japan, while in Singapore, solar panels are being employed to reduce the level of energy its bit barns need to draw from the local grid.

Digital Realty said it has signed a renewable electricity supply contract with energy provider Origin Energy that will see its datacenter portfolio in Australia match its energy demand with wind powered renewable sources from 2024.

Its facility in Sydney will be matched with 100 percent renewable electricity from January 2024, the company claimed, while its hardware hall in Melbourne will initially be matched with 60 percent renewables in 2024, with a view to increasing that to 100 percent from January 2026.

According to Digital Realty, at least some of its renewable energy supply will come from the Stockyard Hill wind farm about 150 kilometers (93 miles) away from Melbourne. This is in line with a policy of prioritizing renewable energy sources from within the same area as its datacenters are located, the company said.

Digital Realty's bit barns in Japan are operated via a joint venture with Mitsubishi Corporation, MC Digital Realty. The NRT10 and KIX11 colocation data halls in Tokyo and Osaka respectively will be matched with 100 percent renewable energy through the purchase of non-fossil feed-in tariff (FIT) certificates from Mitsubishi's MC Retail Energy.

Singapore solar

Meanwhile, the company said it has completed the installation of solar panels at its SIN11 datacenter in Singapore, with a second project under way at its SIN12 facility, due for completion sometime this summer.

Although these solar panels are not enough to meet the entire energy demands of the sites, they will reduce the amount of grid power consumed from non-renewable sources. This will help to avoid more than 200 tonnes of carbon dioxide being emitted annually, Digital Realty claims.

"These projects we are announcing today are important milestones in our global transition to renewable energy and towards achieving our aggressive carbon reduction goals," said Jon Curry, Digital Realty's vice president of Operations for Asia Pacific.

The company claims that more than 100 of its bit barns are carbon neutral for Scope 2 emissions, and that a dozen datacenters in Europe have now achieved carbon neutrality for Scope 1 and 2 emissions.

Digital Realty isn't the only company pursuing renewables and solar power. Earlier this year, Microsoft announced plans to add as much as 2.5 gigawatts of solar power to its operations under a partnership with South Korea's Hanwha Qcells.

In the UK, telco Vodafone also said it had signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with five solar farms to generate a total of 216GWh of energy per year, while also putting solar panels on its own site in Gloucester that are expected to provide around 12 percent of its annual energy requirements. ®

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