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Random Fact 3: Power suck | Pamdemonium
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Random Fact 3: Power suck

March 7, 2010

After working in the garden today, I am thinking green. So is this week’s Random Fact.

Whatever a paperless society is or isn’t, all the computerized data out there still needs a home. Homes cost money. Servers and data storage are demanding customers. They dislike humidity, want a constant temperature and crave air-conditioning levels that men in suits and women in peri-menopause find comfortable. They are big power hogs.

Random Fact: Using 2006 numbers, the most recent EPA analysis concluded U.S. data centers consume as much power as 6 million average homes, costing $4.5 billion a year. Cooling accounts for half the cost. The price tag is expected to be 7.4 billion by 2011.


Shawn Mills in Cheyenne, Wyoming, is putting data storage on a diet. He powers Green House Data by electricity from local wind farms, supplemented by renewable energy credits the company buys. Storage in Cheyenne, Wyoming, uses 60 percent less energy than a comparable data center using traditional power. Green House wants to add two 50-kilowatt turbines for on-site generation to power the data center’s cooling plant.

The company opened a Denver site last fall. Other locations are likely, but they’ll all incorporate energy efficiency into the design, and modular data storage is the centerpiece. Expect ground source heat pumps, hot isle heat containment and server side cooling.

This Random Fact surfaced during reporting for a Wyoming economic development guide for Journal Communications, Inc. I like the way Mills thinks.

Green House Data Storage



Hockey Hillbilly March 8, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Have you ever been to Wyoming? If you have, you’d know that the wind there is at least 60-percent stronger than anywhere else in the 48 contiguous states. (Of course, they provide a reason for it: “The wind blows so hard in Wyoming because Nebraska sucks.”) Still, unlike Tennessee’s TVA power generation, wind-power production doesn’t pile up mountains of coal ash that end up violating streams and lakes nearby. Who knew that Wyoming would one-up the despised “greenies” from neighboring Colorado?

pamelacoyle March 8, 2010 at 12:52 pm

I’ve written about Wyoming’s wind capacity a few times. Most impressive. I do find all the jockeying for “green cred” amusing. I grew up in Minnesota, which was green before green was green.

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