Data center facilities pro

Aug 24 2009   4:15PM GMT

Data center earns nearly $1 million in utility rebates from PG&E

Matt Stansberry Matt Stansberry Profile: Matt Stansberry

Hosting and wholesale data center provider Fortune Data Centers walked away with a $900,000 check from Northern California energy utility Pacific Gas & Electric for making energy efficiency investments in its new San Jose data center.

Fortune opened the new data center for business in April, 2009, reclaiming a former manufacturing site. After phase I of construction, the 78,000 square foot facility has 43,000 square feet of IT space, and the company is claiming a PUE of 1.37, which if correct would mean that the facility’s data center mechanical infrastructure is highly efficient compared to the industry average of 2.0. See Mark Fontecchio’s article for more on evaluating public data center PUE claims.

The utility rebate came from PG&E’s High Tech-IT Facility program, which offers incentives for California data centers to reduce energy demand.

According to Fortune Data Centers CEO John Sheputis, the energy savings came from optimizing the cooling system and purchasing the most efficient uninterruptible power supply systems possible. Sheputis said the PG&E payments offset about half the cost of the premium for implementing high efficiency infrastructure.

PG&E engineers were very involved in the design and commissioning of the project. “PG&E has a commissioning agent to make sure you’ve installed the energy efficient devices and to make sure that it’s working,” Sheputis said. “They have to see the equipment operating. We get payments as the measures are brought online. They’re not allowed to just go around handing out checks.”

While $900,000 is a lot of cash, it’s not the largest data center utility rebate so far. NetApp scored $1.4 million from PG&E for its data center efficiency measures. Sheputis golfs with NetApp data center execs, and joked that “They’re dissing me for not getting as big a check as they did.”

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