As we celebrate Earth Day around the world, it’s the perfect time to reflect on how we care for our people and our planet. As a society, we’re collectively responsible for operating sustainably—both as individuals and as businesses—to reduce our negative environmental impact.
To be successful at this requires creativity and innovation, including finding new and different ways to use clean energy. We put some bold commitments in place several years ago at Workday to keep moving in a positive direction to protect our planet, and we’re certainly not slowing down. Earlier this year, we joined four other companies to pioneer the first clean energy deal of its kind with our first virtual purchase power agreement.
Through this partnership with Bloomberg, Cox Enterprises, Gap Inc., and Salesforce, we’ve created the first-ever small aggregation clean energy deal. For 15 years, each corporate partner will purchase a portion of the power generated by a solar farm being built by BayWa r.e. in North Carolina, and together, we’re adding a significant amount of new clean energy to the grid. I’m really proud of how our five companies came together to make this happen, as such collaboration is relatively unique for this type of corporate sustainability investment.
As part of this aggregation clean energy deal, we will pay a fixed price for each unit of electricity we purchase from the 100 megawatt (MW) solar farm, which is expected to come online in mid-2020. Workday will have a 10 MW portion of the solar farm, or about 24,000 megawatt hours annually—that’s the equivalent of 21 football fields of solar panels, and capable of powering 2,222 homes for a year. We’ll use this electricity to power all four of our Workday data centers in nearby Ashburn, Va., which share the same power grid, with 100 percent renewable energy.
And, instead of having to purchase renewable energy credits from existing facilities at market rate, we’ll be able to achieve cost certainty and efficiency over the 15-year term of this solar farm investment.
Aside from the environmental impact, this deal aligns with our commitment to 100 percent renewable electricity. Our Workday operations currently run on 99.99 percent renewable electricity globally, and all 2,600 of our Workday customers are using our carbon-neutral cloud.