Last week, Google (News - Alert) agreed to buy 48 megawatts of power, all generated via wind turbines, from a local electric utility to power its data center in Oklahoma. This deal represents a significant departure from the previous deal that Google made to get in fully 100 megawatts, as in that case, the deal was made with a private wind farm developer as opposed to the utility itself.
The first deal Google made with the private developer required Google to sell the power it bought into the electrical grid, and then buy power from the grid, taking in the green credits offered as a result of using wind. But with the second deal, Google pays the utility a premium for wind power generated which it then uses directly. Said power comes from the Grand River Dam Authority's first-ever wind project dubbed Canadian Hills, which is expected to come online by the end of the year.
Considering that, in recent days, data centers have found themselves coming under fire from such notables as the New York Times for being wasteful with power while attempting to display themselves as standards of conservation, a measure like this will no doubt strike a serious PR blow for Google, and indeed, for the industry itself.
However, even for those data centers that can't contract to buy the entire output of a wind farm for the next 20 years as Google did, there are other ways to achieve power savings. For instance, Server Technology has a variety of offerings, from a variety of Cabinet Power Distribution Units each with its own levels of power-saving capability to smart power monitors and remote power management systems to help ensure that conservation measures are taken, and that negative PR about wasteful power use is kept to a minimum.
The protection of the environment, as well as the protection of a positive corporate image, is an important facet of doing business for companies of any size. While wind farm contracts may not be for anyone outside of Google's weight class, there are always measures that can be taken, and taking the measures available to the limits of the company's resources will generally be well-repaid in terms of customer good will.
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Edited by Rachel Ramsey