Colombia , Brazil , Mexico and Chile

Brazil’s Odata ups renewables drive with self-generation project

Bnamericas Published: Monday, December 19, 2022
Brazil’s Odata ups renewables drive with self-generation project

Brazil-based datacenter company Odata, recently acquired by US group Aligned Data Centers, is working on a project in the country’s northeast for the self-supply of clean energy, mostly through wind sources.

“We’re probably going to be one of the first datacenter companies on the planet to actually generate its own clean energy. We're becoming a self-generator of energy,” Odata CEO Ricardo Alário told BNamericas.

The project is due to be announced in the coming weeks, when further details will be provided.

Odata is partnering with a power generation company to have a portion of a park in the northeast generating wind energy for its datacenter operations. The company has been working on the initiative for almost two years, said the executive. 

Alário claims that this is a first in the regional digital infrastructure landscape.

“The companies that are doing this are those that actually use a lot of energy. These [projects] are similar to what Heineken, Ambev and Vale, etc, have. They've become self-generators. Ours is exactly the same structure,” he said.


The Brazilian subsidiary of Dutch beer group Heineken started up a wind farm in northeastern Brazil in 2019 as part of a drive to reach 100% renewable supply for its local operations by 2023.

The 30MW wind farm uses 2MW turbines from Siemens Gamesa, which will also operate and maintain the facility.

At Bosch Brasil, self-generation of photovoltaic solar energy could supply 12% of the company's needs by 2030, considering the company's four manufacturing sites in the cities of Campinas, Curitiba, Pomerode and Sorocaba.

At Bosch's Campinas unit, energy self-generation was expected to reach 7% of total consumption by the end of this year, the company said in August.

At Vale, which is one of the five largest power consumers in Brazil, its self-generation portfolio is reportedly already 99% renewable.

By the end of 2021, Vale's installed self-generation capacity was 2.3GW, according to the miner. The figures include hydro and wind generation assets directly and indirectly owned by Vale and located in Brazil, Canada and Indonesia.

These plants supply an average of 59% of Vale's global electricity consumption and 69% of Vale's consumption in Brazil, the company.

By the end of April, total installed self-generation power in Brazil reached the milestone of 21GW in Brazil, including thermelectric, hydro and wind sources, according to Abiape, the Brazilian association of self-generation energy investors.

Abiape has 20 associates, mainly big power consumers such as miners, steemakers, energy groups and petrochemical firms, including Vale, Ambev, Gerdau, ArcelorMittal, Braskem, Norte Energia, Nexa and Votorantim Cimentos.

Brazilian telecom operators have also invested heavily in clean power generation. All four major national operators – Telefônica Brasil, Claro, TIM and Oi – have projects in partnership with clean power generators.

These projects, however, do not fit into the category of self-generation, being primarily power-purchase agreements (PPAs).

In one of the latest announcements on this front, Claro launched a new solar park, reaching the landmark of 70 renewable energy plants supplying its operations.

The newest of them, in the interior of São Paulo state, was built and will be operated by RZK Energia under a PPA deal. This is the eighth unit delivered by RZK for Claro’s clean energy program.

ALSO READ: Spotlight: LatAm telcos' latest renewable energy projects 


Between 85-90% of the energy Odata is using in its operations is already renewable, either through PPAs or green certificates, according to Alário.

Odata's renewables investments were reportedly one of the factors that Aligned Data Centers took into account when evaluating its acquisition of the business.

“Going through this process, when we saw what Odata team was doing with its self-generation … I mean, quite frankly, we don’t know of anybody who's doing anything like that, not even in the US," Aligned Data Centers CEO Andrew Schapp told BNamericas.

"It's a very innovative and sustainable path that Odata is going down. We're highly delighted and we're going to continue to invest in that," he added.

According to Schapp, all of the company's clients (datacenter hyperscale users) are asking for this type of arrangement.

Aligned itself has its own track-record in clean energy investments, he said.

“We were basically the first datacenter operator to issue green financing, a US$1.7bn sustainability-linked bond (SLB), two years ago. We really want to put our money where our mouth is when it comes to sustainability. Not only in buying green, but also in financing.”


In addition to the Odata acquisition, the value of which is estimated by the market at around 10bn reais (US$1.88bn), Aligned plans to invest US$1bn in Odata’s operations in the coming years.

According to Alário and Schapp, that covers both ongoing datacenter projects as well as expansions/modernizations and new builds.

This also includes expansions to new regions within the same country, Alário said.

Of 370MW available, the company has around 100MW of power capacity in its datacenters that is currently leased to customers.

At present, Odata has three datacenters in Brazil, one in Colombia, one in Chile and one in Mexico. It is also building new sites in Chile, Brazil and Mexico.

Aligned Data Centers is owned by funds managed by Australia-based Macquarie Asset Management. Odata, for its part, was 90% controlled by Pátria Investimentos, with a 10% stake belonging to US datacenter real estate investment trust CyrusOne.

Last March, funds KKR and GIP closed the acquisition of CyrusOne for US$15bn.

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