Construction at Golden Plains Wind Farm

Global digital infrastructure company Equinix and clean energy enterprise TagEnergy have signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) for a total of 151MW from the Golden Plains Wind Farm (GPWF). 

Equinix said that, once operational in 2029, the PPA will supply enough energy to cover its 17 international business exchange (IBX) data centres across Australia and will help the company achieve its goal of 100 per cent global renewable coverage. 

The PPA, facilitated by EY and Energetics, is Equinix’s first long-term renewable energy agreement in the Asia-Pacific region. Based on current load projections, the GPWF is expected to provide enough renewable energy for Equinix to meet its renewables target by 2030. 

Once completed, the GPWF is expected to eliminate more than 4.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from being emitted to the atmosphere annually – equivalent to three per cent of Victoria’s total greenhouse emissions.

Equinix Managing Director, Australia, Guy Danskine, said, “This first PPA in the Asia-Pacific region is a huge milestone for Equinix. It underscores our longstanding commitment to actively and meaningfully achieving Equinix’s global sustainability targets to drive positive change and foster a more sustainable future for data centres. Equally as important, we are helping our customers and partners in Australia meet their sustainability goals for their deployments in our IBX data centres across the country.”

The $3 billion GPWF is a significant project for Victoria and will be Australia’s largest wind farm to date. Situated in Golden Plains Shire – approximately 60km northwest of Geelong – the project will feature 215 turbines with a capacity of approximately 6.2MW each.

Construction of the GPWF – East is owned by TagEnergy (85 per cent) and Ingka Investments (15 per cent), part of Ingka Group. Stage one consists of 122 turbines with an expected annual production of more than 2,000GWh or 756MW. Equinix will offtake nearly 20 per cent of the total energy generated by the GPWF – East.

When both stages of the 1,330MW project are completed, the GPWF will be capable of producing more than 4,000GWh of green energy annually. This is equivalent to the energy required to power every home in regional Victoria – more than 765,000 homes.

TagEnergy Managing Partner, Australia, Andrew Riggs, said, “TagEnergy welcomes the signing of this significant PPA with Equinix for 20 per cent of the clean energy generated by GPWF – East.

“This is the second PPA for stage one of our mega-project after Snowy Hydro purchased 40 per cent of the energy and green certificates for stage one, taking total contracted volume to 60 per cent. We look forward to delivering clean energy to support Equinix to achieve its renewables targets as we work to accelerate the energy transition,” Mr Riggs said.

Equinix committed to a target of 100 per cent renewables coverage across its global operations in 2015. In 2022, the company said it had achieved 96 per cent coverage globally. 

Equinix Senior Vice President, Global Design & Construction, Diraj Bamola, said, “To date, Equinix has executed 21 PPAs, adding more than 1GW of renewable energy across the US, Australia, France, Finland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden, once projects are operational through to 2029.

“Additionally, we also pioneer green building and design innovations throughout our data centres to do what it takes to address climate change,” Mr Bamola said.

Featured image: Construction at the Golden Plains Wind Farm. Courtesy of Equinix.

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