After a period of silence on the issue, Equinix, one of the world’s largest data center service providers (and the world' largest retail colocation provider), said it will continue pursuing the goal of powering its global data center platform with renewable energy, despite uncertainty about the future of the US renewable energy market as President Donald Trump’s administration attempts to roll back climate regulations.
“Our renewable energy commitments have not changed in light of the White House’s climate policy rollback,” Michelle Lindeman, an Equinix spokeswoman, said via email Monday. “We continue to have a long-term goal of using 100 percent clean and renewable energy for our global platform.”
Several data center providers recently joined hyper-scale cloud companies such as Google and Microsoft in making large investments in renewable energy for their data centers. More large corporate data center customers prefer colocation services powered by renewable energy to meet their own sustainability goals, while wind and solar energy have become more cost-competitive.
While it’s unclear at this point what exactly the effects of the executive order on climate Trump signed last week will be, any major regulatory changes are bound to affect the energy market. The president’s order directs the EPA to review the Clean Power Plan, a set of emission rules for existing power plants enacted by the Obama administration expected to be rolled back under the current White House, discontinues the moratorium on coal mining on federal lands, and calls on federal agencies to identify rules that impede American energy independence.
In addition to Equinix, Switch, another American data center provider, said the order does not change its plans to power its facilities with renewable energy. This week Iron Mountain’s data center services unit announced it had secured enough renewable energy to offset energy consumption of all three of its US data center sites.
Equinix last year signed wind and solar power purchase agreements whose total capacity matches the demand by its data centers in North America. The company also recently published its first annual corporate sustainability report.