Apple partners with Etsy, Swiss Re and Akamai on renewables projects

Apple is collaborating with cloud services firm Akamai, reinsurer Swiss Re and e-commerce brand Etsy to develop two new wind and solar farms that will enable the companies to increase access to renewable energy in the eastern US.

Apple, which announced earlier this year that all of its global facilities are powered with 100% renewable energy, is engaging with other firms to enable them to purchase renewable energy. The tech giant will work with Akamai, Etsy and Swiss Re to purchase wind and solar power from two sites in the US.

The companies will collectively purchase 125MW from a wind farm near Chicago and 165MW from a solar project outside Fredericksburg, Virginia. The combined 290MW of renewable power from the two farms is enough to power 74,000 homes across the eastern US.

“At Apple, we’re proud to power all of our operations around the world with 100% renewable energy,” Apple’s vice president of environment, Lisa Jackson, said. “In the process, we’ve charted a course for other companies and organisations to purchase renewable energy and transition their own operations to greener power.”

Helping others

The projects are expected to come online within the next two years and are expected to cover more than 40% of the energy consumption of Akamai’s US operations and more than 20% of its global energy consumption.

Akamai claimed that it had limited opportunity to access renewable energy in the eastern US market, but that collaborating with Apple had put it on track to sourcing half of its global energy needs from renewables by 2020. Akamai has a long-standing strategic partnership with Apple to build media networks.

In April 2016, Etsy committed to being powered by 100% renewable electricity by 2020. As of 2016, renewables accounted for 16% of Etsy’s energy consumption.

“Etsy is excited to be a part of a project that will benefit both the planet and our customers,” Etsy’s chief financial officer, Rachel Glaser, said. “This agreement will help Etsy to meet our goal of powering operations with 100% renewable electricity while also innovating by paving the way for small companies to participate in the renewable energy market.”

Swiss Re, a member of the Climate Group’s RE100 initiative, sourced approximately 84% of its power needs from renewable energy in 2016. The group’s Corporate Solutions arm has also participated in 35 offshore wind projects over the last five years, acting as the lead insurer for five projects.

“As a leader in mitigating climate risk, Swiss Re aims to reduce its carbon footprint and support renewable energy, which is why we’re so happy to be part of this collaboration,” Swiss Re’s head of origination North America, Brian Beebe said.

“We also hope to speed up the adoption of these clean technologies through Swiss Re Corporate Solutions’ innovative insurance products, which help owners of wind and solar assets decrease cash flow uncertainty.”

Matt Mace

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