September 30, 2011, 4:58 PM — Not too long ago, I blogged here about a study by DatacenterDynamics that estimates that the world's data centers will consume 19% more energy in the next 12 months than they have in the past year. That’s clearly got folks worried. Forty-four percent of those surveyed believe increased energy costs will impact significantly on their data center operations in the next 12 months.
But a few recent announcements from companies building new data centers may not be losing much sleeper over energy costs. That’s because their plans include low-cost, renewable energy sources.
Take, for example, Vantage Data Centers. The California company just announced that it is buying 63 acres of land in Washington state to build a new data center. The reason for the site, which is in Quincy, Washington, a rural area filled with potato fields? The company can take advantage of central Washington's low-cost, low-carbon hydropower from Columbia River dams (by the way, Microsoft, Yahoo, Dell and Sabey have all either built data centers or purchased land for construction in the area, according to this article in the Wenatchee World).
The center will be built in three phases, with an initial server farm of 133,000 square feet. Additional phases will include a 105,000-square-foot enterprise technology center that combines office and data center space and, later, a 235,000-square-foot expansion for extra computing space.
In a statement, Vantage says it selected Quincy because of the area’s low-cost/low carbon/ultra-green hydro power served by the Columbia River Basin, an unequaled source of renewable power in North America, and adds that the project will mark its second campus designed for LEED Platinum certification. The project also includes the construction of a dedicated 41 MW 2N (fully redundant) dual fed substation with expansion capability and high efficiency distribution electrical systems.
Then there’s Verne Global. The data center operator, with its partner Colt (providing the modular data center) is getting ready to fire up its new colocation services in Iceland. The data center will be powered fully by geothermal and hydroelectric sources of energy.
What’s more, all of Verne Global’s electricity comes will come from those geothermal and hydroelectric sources. I’ll be talking with Verne Global next week, and possibly with one of its first customers. I’ll let you know what I learn. Stay tuned…