Equinix’s commitments to scaling renewable energy have held steady amid the evolving obstacles and opportunities the renewable energy industry faces. These commitments enable our customers and partners to green their digital supply chains, multiplying our role as a sustainability enabler across stakeholders. We have been a proud member of RE100 and a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Green Power Partner National Top 100 company since 2015. In 2022, we were recognized by the U.S. EPA as the top colocation data center company using renewable energy. Along with these accolades, Equinix continues a long-standing commitment to fostering collaboration and education in the renewable energy space by moving to a Leadership Circle membership in CEBA and contributing to the board of the organization.
Equinix applies four principles to our purchasing decisions toward our goal of 100% clean and renewable energy:
We are committed to continually expanding our global efforts to purchase renewable energy, even as we grow. In 2022, Equinix consumed 7,750 GWh of electricity in our data centers for both overhead infrastructure and customer IT load, an increase of 9% YOY. Of this 2022 consumption, 7,430 GWh or 96% was covered by renewable energy. Year over year, Equinix has increased our procurement of renewables by 10% on a GWh-basis.
|242 Data Centers*||28.1 million gross sq. ft.||27 countries|
|Consumption & Renewable Energy|
|7,750 GWh of electricity consumed||Equivalent to electricity usage of 650,000 U.S. homes in a year||96% renewable globally|
|223 sites with 100% RE coverage||595 MW of PPAs under long-term contract||160% increase in PPAs under long-term contract since 2021|
*Included in the 2022 GHG Boundary
We currently procure renewable energy in every region in which we operate, totaling 242 data centers in 27 countries. As Equinix expands into different markets, we prioritize purchasing renewable energy by scaling power purchase agreements (PPAs) when feasible and pursuing emerging opportunities to increase our impact through on-site projects and investments. We continue to make significant progress toward our 2030 goal by increasing renewable energy coverage, especially in Australia and the greater Asia-Pacific region.
Beyond renewable energy procurement, we continue evaluating on-site solar opportunities, on-site generation from fuel cells, and any other distributed low-carbon technology that fits with our overall strategy.
In 2021, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission allowed Equinix and a consortium of other businesses to partner in negotiating green energy purchasing. This group is authorized to pool applicants for solar and wind farm energy generation, ultimately allowing for greater access to the National Electricity market and opportunities to enter into long-term PPAs. The group is actively evaluating projects across Australia and expects to report material progress later this year.
To achieve our 2030 goal of 100% renewable energy globally, we need to rapidly scale our PPA efforts across the countries and metros where we operate. A critical component of this scaling effort is to develop long-term partnerships with developers who have a presence and pipeline spanning multiple continents. In 2023, Equinix is striving to execute additional PPAs with strategic partners as we recognize the importance of these relationships in achieving our long-term goals.
*All future online dates are anticipated and subject to change. Although unlikely, it is also possible the projects are not built or replaced with suitable alternatives should there be development obstacles.
Energy Attribute Certificates (EACs) are currently a part of our renewable energy portfolio mix and can be acquired through a number of mechanisms. Those sourced directly from a contracted project such as a Virtual Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) or included in a power supply contract are typically referred to as “bundled” certificates, whereas those purchased from a third party or broker are classified as “unbundled.”
While we recognize that EACs do not enable the development of new projects to the same extent as PPAs, purchasing unbundled certificates still plays an important role in sending demand signals to the market and supports the “greening” of the related electrical grid system. Moreover, PPAs are not available in all global markets, and Equinix contributes to the development of the renewable energy market through its purchase of unbundled certificates. In locations with more developed energy markets, we actively work to replace unbundled certificates with higher quality solutions that further drive additionality, such as PPAs.
When evaluating EAC procurement opportunities, we strive to ensure they are aligned with global certification standards such as in North America where 100% of our purchases are Green-e certified. Another criterion that we prioritize depending on market availability is purchasing EACs from projects that are less than five years old, which helps incentivize the development of additional new projects. Lastly, we adhere to the GHG Protocol and ISO 14064-3 reporting standards for any claims we make using certificates. In summary, Equinix recognizes that not all EACs are viewed as having equal environmental impact and that there is a range in quality for our current renewable energy portfolio. However, by doing what we can, where we can, we are supporting the broader renewable energy industry and greening the grid where we operate and beyond for all users.
Equinix’s long-term renewable energy strategy places the great emphasis on scaling off-site PPAs. We are also taking a direct approach to investing in sustainable energy by increasing the number of on-site solar projects at our data center locations. Both in our new build designs and at existing facilities, opportunities to optimize the extent of on-site solar are evaluated. Our systems support greater energy market transformation by bringing new renewable energy online. In late 2022, we deployed our largest solar project yet in Australia at our ME1 facility with an impressive capacity of 1 MW. In total, our existing on-site solar capacity has grown to 4.4 MW globally in 2022. We will continue to identify opportunities to increase solar power generation and expand across our global regions in 2023.
Our global teams actively track the latest environmental standards and legislation impacting our data centers around the world. We engage with governments and various external committees to advocate for forward-looking policies that support corporations as the world transitions to a green economy. As more regulations are rolled out in the EU, we integrated our advocacy work further into our internal initiatives by embedding it as a core track for our steering committee. In 2022, we influenced new energy regulations through our leadership role in EUDCA and through a white paper written and presented by Equinix to local governments. Our advocacy work supports ambitious climate policies and scaling renewable energy access and usage for our peers and customers.
“PPAs are an important financial structure to advance carbon-free power generation that would not happen otherwise because they provide the critical guarantees of cash flow that enable developers to obtain the necessary financing from banks. Equinix has not only led through their own projects but has also used their deep PPA expertise to help other energy customers, project developers and partners accelerate their own learning curves.”
-Miranda Ballentine, CEBA CEO, February 2023
In 2022, we participated as faculty in two sessions for CEBA member companies. Since 2016, we have participated in 12 such events, helping over 190 Equinix customers and other CEBA members learn more about negotiating renewable energy deals. These knowledge-building efforts grow the industry’s capacity and associated impact toward CEBA’s goal of 90% decarbonization of the electric grid by 2030. Equinix has also sat on CEBA’s Board of Directors for the past four years.