Yandex enters 5-year renewable energy deal in Finland

Jul 01, 2021 | Posted by MadalineDunn

Yandex, Russia's largest search platform, has decided to make the push towards renewable energy by signing up for a five-year power purchase agreement (PPA) for wind power at its Mäntsälä data center. According to Yandex, the deal with Finland's Ilmatar Energy will mean that 20% of the company's global energy consumption will be matched with clean energy procurement from regional sources.

This deal is particularly important for the company's green vision, as, according to its inaugural Sustainability Report, 52% of its carbon footprint is associated with electricity consumption. Moreover, 90% of this energy consumption comes from its data centers. That said, the search engine giant's most recently built facilities achieve a power usage effectiveness of 1.1, which is six times more efficient than the global average.

The contract will come into effect from January next year.

Press release:
Moscow and Amsterdam, the Netherlands, June 30, 2021 – Yandex (NASDAQ and MOEX: YNDX), one of Europe’s largest internet companies and the leading search and ride-hailing provider in Russia, has signed a 5-year power purchase agreement (PPA) for wind energy with Finnish renewable energy company Ilmatar Energy. Under the contract Yandex will source renewable electricity from wind farms operated by Ilmatar to cover 100% of the energy needs for the company’s Mäntsälä data center in Finland. Delivery of renewable electricity to Yandex will begin on January 1, 2022.

This agreement advances Yandex’s commitment to reduce its carbon footprint, as described in its inaugural Sustainability Report. Yandex reported that 52% of its carbon footprint was associated with electricity consumption (Scope 2), 90% of which was attributed to data centers (DCs). To reinforce climate change mitigation, Yandex is enhancing energy efficiency measures with the ‘greening’ of its energy mix.

Designed to meet the most rigorous energy efficiency standards, Yandex’s newest data centers, including Mäntsälä, have been achieving a power usage effectiveness (PUE) of 1.1, which represents overhead energy use that is 6 times more efficient than the global average. In addition, the Mäntsälä DC has been employing a server heat recovery solution to raise the temperature of the water pumped into local heating systems, which contributes to the reduction of GHG emissions associated with the use of electricity for heating water. 

Coupled with high energy efficiency, the purchase of wind energy for the Mäntsälä DC is expected to result in emissions reductions. Thanks to the PPA with Ilmatar, close to 20% of the total electricity consumption by Yandex data centers globally will be matched with the procurement of clean energy from regional sources. The company reiterates its commitment to continue opting for greener energy sources, where possible.

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