Equinix expands its use of Fuel Cells in CA and NY

Equinix has a press release on its use of Bloom Energy fuel cells.

12 Additional North American Data Centers to be Powered with State of the Art Fuel Cell Technology

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Aug. 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Equinix, Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX), the global interconnection and data center company, today announced the signing of a 15-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between a subsidiary of Southern Company and Equinix in which Bloom Energy fuel cells will be installed at 12 International Business ExchangeTM (IBX®) data centers in the U.S. The project will provide a total capacity of more than 37 megawatts of power with a phased installation that begins in late 2017 through 2019.

What is a key fact is where the Fuel Cells are going. California and New York.  Where the price of power is high and the rebate incentives work out.  If you are looking a Fuel Cells CA and NY are some of the areas where the numbers work out.

The new project will install fuel cells at seven Equinix IBX data centers in the Silicon Valley (SV1, SV2, SV3, SV4, SV5, SV6, SV10), three in the New York area (NY2, NY4, NY5) and two in the Los Angeles area (LA3, LA4). It builds on the pilot program at Equinix’s Silicon Valley SV5 IBX data center that began in 2015.

Where is Google's Renewable Power?

Google was one of the first data center companies to get a PPA. A PPA? Power Purchase Agreement. I am pretty sure Google was first, but it was 2009 when they started and I can't remember if there was possibly someone else. I think back in 2009 people were thinking they need to fund their own renewable energy projects and didn't even know what a PPA was.

In 2009, our data center energy team began to study power purchase agreements (PPAs): large-scale, long-term contracts to buy renewable energy in volumes that would meet the needs of our business. The idea behind using a PPA is simple: Google can’t buy clean energy from our utilities because of regulatory restrictions on our retail contract, and we can’t produce nearly enough of it behind the meter at our data center facilities because of physical and geographical restrictions. But we can buy it at the wholesale level directly from developers on the same grids where we operate our data centers.
— https://environment.google/projects/ppa/

I was lucky and spent a bunch of time hanging around OSIsoft friends like Pat Kennedy who were immersed in the workings of power generation and Pat suggested that data centers could benefit from going after lumber decommissioned power plants which have water rights, power and PPAs.

Part of using PPAs is there are now public disclosures and as Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, and others follow they are announcing their renewable energy PPAs. Google has summarized their efforts in this nice graphic.

But don't rush to think PPAs solve all your problems for acquiring renewable energy.  With Google's experience they have found there is room for improvement as Google's Greg Demasi closes in his blog post.

We’ve had great success securing significant amounts of renewable energy at rates that are competitive with nonrenewable sources, proving that you can do great things for the planet and support the bottom line. But in many ways PPAs remain an imperfect model. And although there are more options today than there were in 2009, few utilities offer renewable energy to their customers. “A huge evolution needs to occur in the utility sector,” Demasi says, “for us to be able to buy the power we want from the source we want with the contractual flexibility and agility we need.” The industry is making good progress. But we’re still a long way from an ideal system for bringing renewable power from where the wind blows and the sun shines to where people live and work.
— https://environment.google/projects/ppa/



Iron Mountain adds wind power for 30% NA energy footprint

News is here.

Iron Mountain Wind Power Purchase in Texas to Deliver as Much as 30 Percent of Company’s Total North American Power Usage

New agreement, along with other projects & investments, expected to help Iron Mountain utilize renewable sources for two-thirds of total North American electricity load by 2018

October 10, 2016 04:45 PM Eastern Daylight Time

BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Iron Mountain Incorporated® (NYSE:IRM), the global leader in storage and information management services, today announced the signing of a wind power purchase agreement that will leverage renewable energy sources to power as much as 30 percent of its North American electricity footprint. That capacity will be sufficient to power all of its Texas operations (more than 75 facilities) as well as additional states, providing long-term rate stability and with as much as $1.5 million annually in related cost avoidance.

Akamai plans on going Green investing in local renewable projects

When you build your own data centers going green is pretty straight forward to source renewable energy. When you live other data centers you can take the position that you can't do anything unless your landlord provides green energy. You can request, but that is about it.

Akamai posts on its initiative to invest in local renewable energy projects directly.

Green is the Warmest Color

Rob Morton By Rob Morton June 28, 2016 10:30 AM
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Recently, Akamai announced the company's plans to expand its sustainability initiatives through an innovative renewable energy procurement strategy. Unlike many of its peers in the tech industry, Akamai does not operate its own data centers. That means, for example, we don't have roofs on which to install solar panels, which is one key way of generating your own renewable power.

So, what does the company that operates the world's largest distributed computing platform do? Akamai plans to initiate long term investment in renewable energy projects, geographically aligned with network operations and commensurate with aggregate network energy usage that includes third-party, co-location data centers. Simple, right?

To learn more about Akamai's green initiatives, please visit:




Apple, Google, Facebook lead the Green Data Center Efforts

Gigaom's Katie Fehrenbacher has written a nice piece on the green data center efforts, highlighting the leaders - Apple, Google, and Facebook.

The world’s largest internet companies are turning to clean power to run their data centers like never before. This month we saw huge clean power deals from Apple, including big solar projects planned in California and Arizona, and a big wind buy from Google to provide local power for its headquarters in Silicon Valley.

But it wasn’t always this way. It’s only been in the last several years that Apple, Google, Facebook and others have been embracing clean power as a viable option to provide a significant amount of power for their data centers, and it’s taken years for the power industry, and the internet companies themselves, to adjust to and learn about this emerging world.

Katie tells her own personal story of covering the green data center efforts starting in 2012.

I took my first road trip around the area in the summer of 2012 and wrote about the companies’ complicated relationship with the region’s dirty and clean power options. In late 2013, I took another trip to investigate Apple’s already built monumental solar farms there.

Disclosure: Katie Fehrenbacher is a friend and I will regularly discuss discuss the green data center topic when we are at events like Gigaom Structure.