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ENGIE North America x QTS Data Centers

Planet

20 MW

from three wind generation projects in Texas

Profit

100%

hedged green block of power for price security

Through a mission to empower people and technology, QTS Data Centers has long made sustainability a key priority and a core value of its operations. After learning of new opportunities to go 100% renewable at its Irving, Texas facility, the multimillion-dollar company made the strategic decision to leverage ENGIE North America’s capabilities to reinforce its commitment to sustainability.

In 2018, QTS Data Centers set its sights on an ambitious goal: to join the RE100 by 2019 and publicly commit to procuring 100% renewable energy by 2025. With this objective, QTS was primed to expand its renewable supply portfolio – and ENGIE North America was positioned to help.

Big infrastructure meets big energy innovation

While the company was ready to transition to 100% renewable energy, it needed an option that would manage the volumetric and price risks that come with renewable investments.

The decision was made to focus attention on its Irving, Texas mega data center campus. With a location in the deregulated market of ERCOT – in the state with the most total installed wind-power-generating capacity in the nation – the 700,000 square-foot facility represented significant opportunity as the largest data center in the Southeast.

To support firm uptime commitments, QTS’ Irving location already boasted 140 MW of critical on-site power capacity and up to 48 hours of fuel reserves on-site to meet customer requirements during grid events.  Although the company had room to expand on its over 54-acre site, exploring off-site options for renewable supply was most appealing.

The company was also interested in marketing its renewable investments. With supply chain sustainability being a critical priority for many of its clients – and given the company’s ambition to join the RE100 – any solution would need to reinforce the strength of the QTS brand as a sustainable energy leader.

Bridging the gap in available renewable procurement options

At the same time QTS heightened its focus on sustainable energy source, ENGIE North America was working to bridge the significant gap between the traditional market offerings available to advance renewable strategies for commercial and industrial customers.

At one end of the spectrum was renewable energy certificates (RECs) to offset greenhouse gas emissions through a fungible and tradable commodity. At the other end was long-term, complex power purchase agreements to support the development of new renewable generation assets.

With new offerings that included physical green supply via standard retail supply contracts, ENGIE North America was well positioned to help QTS build the right strategy to achieve its specific goals and operational requirements.

To support the company’s fiscal and environmentally responsible priorities, ENGIE North America tailored an easyRE solution to deliver the following benefits:

  • Renewable power sourced from Flat Top wind project – a 200 MW wind farm located less than 200 miles from QTS’ Irving site – via an electricity wholesaler.
  • Renewable energy credits tied to the same generation asset, directly supporting the development of this nearby wind energy resource, to meet the contracted volume.
  • The ability to make marketing and environmental claims to reinforce the strength of QTS as a sustainable brand.
  • Price security with a 100% hedged green block of power.
  • Traditional retail services, including balancing and scheduling, to manage the risks of price and volume exposure.

 

The integrated strategy also included access to the ENGIE 20/20 reporting platform, providing benchmarking and reporting intelligence to further support the data center’s sustainability program.

Advancing progress toward renewable targets

ENGIE North America has since helped QTS procure power from two additional Texas wind resources – Rattlesnake and Rio Bravo – through a second easyRE solution to meet the volume requirements of its nearby Fort Worth location.  As part of the procurement strategy, volume commitments were restructured to balance the load requirements of both the Irving and Fort Worth sites, locking in supply through 2031. 

The total contracted 20 MW of renewable volume further strengthens the commitments of QTS, moving the company one step closer to achieving its target of 100% renewable energy consumption by 2025.  

“We were looking for a partner who could help us build a solution that went beyond renewable energy certificates to mitigate the complexities involved in power purchase agreements. ENGIE North America delivered on that front with an innovative product facilitated through a traditional supply contract – and that helped us move the mark significantly on our renewable commitments.”

Aaron Hicks

Site Director, Irving, QTS Data Centers

About QTS Data Centers

QTS Realty Trust, Inc. is a leading provider of data center solutions across a diverse footprint spanning more than 7 million square feet of owned mega scale data center space within North America and Europe. Through its software-defined technology platform, QTS is able to deliver secure, compliant infrastructure solutions, robust connectivity and premium customer service to leading hyperscale technology companies, enterprises and government entities.