Arctic-Circle Facebook data center to save environment, doom Santa

Ambient cooling saves energy, hydroelectric is cleaner than coal, reindeer is healtier than beef

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The data center itself will take up 968,000 square feet and use $72 million in energy per year, about the equivalent of 16,000 U.S. homes, compared to the 30,000 to 35,000 U.S. homes it would take to equal power use by normal data centers that size, according to GreenBiz.com

It picked Santa's back yard for its location because pulling in ambient air to cool server farms is much more practical among the ice floes than it is in steamy North Carolina or the humid American Northwest.

Data from IT-specific environmental activist group The Green Grid show almost half of U.S. data centers use some form of ambient cooling, which helps save 20 percent of overall energy costs and 7 percent from cooling systems themselves.

Despite its success with Facebook and the Arctic Circle Data Center of Santa's Doom, Greenpeace is continuing to push Facebook to commit that all its future data centers will also rely on renewable energy and to expand its Open Compute Project energy-efficient data-center design collaboration project.

Greenpeace is also pushing Facebook to use its clout as a big power buyer to push the coal-reliant utilities that serve its other data centers to go green as well.

Attempts to locate phone contact information to request comment from Santa's Workshop were unsuccessful. Attempts to contact the Workshop via email and postal mail were rerouted to local post offices. Local Santa agents found in department stores and at Salvation Army donation sites – though dressed in full Santa uniform – claimed to have no way to contact Santa representatives directly for comment.

Read more of Kevin Fogarty's CoreIT blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Kevin on Twitter at @KevinFogarty. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

Photo Credit: 

Reuters/Denis Sinyakov

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