A coalition of companies led by Equinix Australia has received the green light from the national competition watchdog to establish a joint renewable energy purchasing group.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) ruled that the companies — HSBC Bank, Nike, Goldman Sachs and H&M, in addition to Equinix — will be able to pool their demand and collectively tender and negotiate a power purchasing agreement with a single supplier.
Specifically, that agreement will be in the form of a contract for differences — also known as a hedge — for electricity and for the physical delivery of green products, including large-scale generation certificates, from a renewable energy generation facility connected or to be connected to the National Electricity Market (NEM), likely in NSW.
The ACCC found the authorisation, which is set to last for 24 years until 30 September 2045, is expected to provide public benefits — covering transaction cost savings, greater investment in and competition for electricity supply as well as environmental benefits — that outweigh "the minimal, if any, likely detriment to the public".
“Equinix is delighted with the ACCC’s approval, which is an important milestone that will help us work towards our recently announced commitment to becoming climate neutral globally by 2030, meeting our science-based target aligned to the Paris Agreement 1.5 degree scenario and reaching our long-term goal of 100 per cent clean and renewable energy, said Guy Danskine,” managing director of Equinix Australia.
“As the first data centre company to issue a 100 per cent renewable energy goal back in 2015, we have been actively considering opportunities to increase the quantity, quality and locality of our renewable energy purchases where feasible and adding to our coverage in Asia Pacific.”
The Equinix-spearheaded power purchasing agreement follows analysis from research firm Gartner, which found that sustainability trends are one of four that are set to shape the future of public cloud.
Nearly half of the respondents to the firm’s 2021 Gartner CEO Survey said they believed climate change mitigation will have a significant impact on their business.
According to Gartner, cloud providers are responding to this growing focus on sustainability by instituting more aggressive carbon-neutral corporate goals, which creates new challenges for infrastructure and operations leaders.