When Facebook‘s forthcoming data center in Altoona, Iowa, goes online in early 2015, the social networking giant expects it to be supplied by 100 percent renewable energy – as tracked by renewable energy certificates – from a wind project in nearby Wellsburg, Iowa.
Facebook started working on this project with RPM Access, a local wind project developer, as it was finalizing its decision to locate in Iowa. Earlier this spring, Facebook transferred its rights to the development to local utility MidAmerican Energy, to build, own, and operate it.
Construction is under way, and once it’s completed in 2014, the project will add up to 138 MW of new renewable wind capacity to the grid in Iowa – more than the expected usage of the data center for the foreseeable future. Similar to Facebook’s Oregon, North Carolina and Sweden data centers, the Iowa location is based on Open Compute Project designs.
Facebook is committed to reaching 25 percent clean and renewable energy in its global data center mix in 2015.
In August, Google became the first company in North America to obtain a multi-site ISO 50001 certification for the energy management system covering its corporate data center operations and six US data centers. ISO 50001 aims to support organizations in all sectors to use energy more efficiently, through the development of an energy management system.
In March, Microsoft announced it had improved the efficiency of its Dublin data center, a facility hailed for its energy-sipping qualities when it came online in 2009. Microsoft lowered the Power Usage Effectiveness of its Dublin facility from 1.24 in its first phase to 1.17 in the newest data hall, which was added last year, reported Data Center Knowledge. PUE compares a data center’s total power use to the amount of power used by the IT equipment, a metric that shows how much is lost in distribution and conversion. The average PUE for enterprise data centers is 1.8.