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I am excited to announce that Cisco has signed its first long-term wind energy power purchase agreement (PPA). Cisco is one of several companies that contracted long-term PPAs to buy power from the Mesquite Star wind farm, a 419-megawatt (MW) wind farm owned and operated by Clearway Energy Group. Located in one of the windiest corridors in Texas, the wind farm will deliver over 1.6 million megawatt-hours of clean, renewable electricity every year to the local electric grid. Cisco’s portion of the project (10-MW) will provide approximately 40 percent of the electricity we use annually at our data centers in Richardson and Allen, Texas.

This is Cisco’s first wind energy and our third overall long-term renewable energy contract; our first in 2017 provides solar power to our San Jose, California headquarters, and our second in Karnataka, India provides solar power to our campus in Bangalore, India. Procuring renewable energy is a key component of our strategy to achieve our FY22 greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction and renewable energy goals. This PPA will reduce our Scope 2 GHG emissions in Texas by over 18,000 metric tonnes per year, which is equivalent to taking approximately 4,000 cars off the road or planting 300,000 trees.

Mesquite Star wind farm in Texas. Cisco signed a 10-MW PPA for a portion of the power generated from this 419-MW system. Image credit: Clearway Energy Group

Renewable PPA agreements allow Cisco to support new renewable energy developments that produce electricity bundled with the associated Renewable Energy Credits (RECs). This helps us meet our sustainability goals and reduces costs and volatility in our energy budget by locking in electricity prices over the term of the agreements. Furthermore, it creates local jobs and adds clean, renewable electricity to the local electric grid where we have operations.

The Mesquite Star wind farm created more than 300 jobs during construction, over a dozen ongoing jobs and millions in local investments. According to the American Wind Energy Association, Texas ranks #1 in the country for total installed wind capacity (29,407 MW) and wind-energy jobs (25,000 employed) attracting over $46 billion to-date in statewide investments.

 

Drone footage of Mesquite Star wind farm. Video credit: Clearway Energy Group

Moving forward, we will continue to evaluate and implement innovative renewable energy opportunities throughout our global portfolio, focusing on both onsite and offsite systems. Coupled with our continued investment in energy efficiency — 550+ projects completed over the past five years— we are well on the path to achieving our 60 percent GHG reduction and 85 percent renewable energy target by 2022!