Equinix operates 245+ data centers (IBXs) in 70+ metros around the world and procures renewable energy in all regions in which we operate. We prioritize increasing and expanding our renewable energy purchasing even as we grow but recognize that market conditions and availability of renewable energy vary by region and country. This results in having a diverse portfolio of solutions as we continue our journey to meet our 100 percent renewable energy coverage goal.
We understand that at any given point in time, some components of our portfolio will have a higher impact than others and it is why we are always striving to move to higher-quality solutions whenever and wherever we can.
Principles and priorities
With this in mind, Equinix applies four principles to our renewable energy procurement decisions:
- Utilise renewable and low-carbon energy
- Secure local sources of renewable energy where possible
- Seek new or recently built generation sources
- Advocate for favorable renewable energy policies and consider renewable energy availability when locating new data centres
With this strategy in mind, Energy Attribute Certificates (EACs) (including RECs, I-RECs, GoOs, etc), which are tied to an underlying project such as a virtual Power Purchase Agreement (vPPA) or are included in our power supply contracts (bundled), as well as those purchased from a 3rd party (unbundled) are both currently a part of our portfolio mix.
In some locations unbundled EACs are the only option available, and we choose to do something rather than nothing in these markets. In other locations, we used them as a first step in our journey and actively work to replace them with higher-quality solutions that further drive additionality, such as virtual Power Purchase Agreements (vPPAs).
While unbundled EACs do not drive the same incremental additionality as vPPAs with new projects, we believe purchasing unbundled certificates plays an important role in sending demand signals to the market.
For example, in the past few years, prices for unbundled EAC’s in the US and EU have increased dramatically, a trend we believe is driven by the additional demand from corporate buyers.
Another criterion that we prioritize is purchasing EACs from projects that are less than five years old which helps incentivize the development of additional new projects (although
When evaluating EAC procurement opportunities, we strive to ensure they are aligned with global certification standards, and in North America, 100 percent of our purchases are Green-e certified. not available in all markets we procure EACs). Lastly, we adhere to the GHG protocol and ISO 14064-3 reporting standards for any claims we make using certificates.
Not all certificates are equal
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.