In an effort to shift its power reliance away from fossil fuels, cloud delivery platform Akamai Technologies is investing in the Seymour Hills Wind Farm in Dallas, and hopes that by 2018 it will provide enough energy to power its Texan operations.

When the winds change

wind turbines
– Wikimedia Commons/Winchell Joshua

The development, an 8,000 acre stretch of land which will likely see the construction of 38 turbines, was initially considered by Carter Wind Energy in 2009 but was subsequently dropped.

Akamai’s Texas-based business represents seven percent of its global network, meaning the investment will provide a sizeable chunk of the company’s goal of transitioning to 50 percent renewable energy by 2020.

Seeing as it runs a distributed network, Akamai hosts its own servers but only operates in colocation facilities in edge locations, which makes the act of shifting to renewables a tasking one. Unlike classic data center providers, who can install solar panels on their facilities, until recently Akamai has turned to renewable energy certificates to ensure the sustainability of its network. 

Jim Benson, Akamai EVP and CFO said that he believes the company’s procurement strategy “can be a model for others,” stating that the wind farm represents “one of several in which Akamai plans to invest” to reach its 50 percent goal.

Akamai was found to be strongly committed to sustainability in this year’s Greenpeace “Clicking Clean” report, which rates data center and cloud providers according to their use of green energy. The company received an overall B grade for its efforts, based on criteria of energy transparency, renewable energy commitment and siting policy, energy efficiency and mitigation, and renewable procurement. It was awarded a C for the latter, which likely encouraged the company to invest in renewables.