Iron Mountain announced a major investment in renewable energy for its data centers, one week after President Donald Trump signed an executive order in an attempt to roll back Obama-era climate regulations.
The data center provider signed a 15-year agreement with a new wind farm in Ringer Hill, Pennsylvania, to use 25 MW of its capacity—enough to power Iron Mountain’s data centers in three states. Part of a strategy that combines wind and solar, the company said its data center business is now powered 100 percent by renewable energy.
Despite the possibility of loosening restrictions on coal power handed down from Washington, Iron Mountain joins mega-data center providers Equinix and Digital Realty in making investments in wind and solar. Being able to provide data center services to big customers, such as Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, and Google -- all staunch advocates of renewable energy — may take precedence for service providers, regardless of what shape federal policy on climate takes.
That remains to be heard, though. While the group of cloud giants has made a statement in support of Obama's Clean Power Plan, the biggest set of rules the current White House is seeking to roll back, the largest data center providers have yet to voice an opinion.
Iron Mountain projects that its reliance on solar and wind power will offset two-thirds of its North American electricity needs by 2018. In addition to the Ringer Hill wind farm, the company recently signed a power purchase agreement at the Amazon Wind Farm Texas and has ongoing investments in solar projects throughout the US and Canada.
Its portfolio also includes a 200-acre underground campus outside Pittsburgh that houses its National Data Center and leverages geothermal cooling.
“As our data center business grows, we’re always looking at how best to address power considering it’s the largest operational cost and environmental concern,” Mark Kidd, senior VP and general manager, Iron Mountain Data Centers, said in a statement. “Sourcing 100 percent renewable power, along with our Better Buildings Initiative pledge to reduce energy intensity across the data center portfolio, positions Iron Mountain and our customers to meet the growing demand for data center services with affordable, clean, sustainable power.”