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Lifeline and Apple 'Juice' Data Centers with Solar
Following in the footprints of such eco-tech icons as Apple, Facebook (News - Alert), Cisco and IBM, Lifeline Data Centers has announced plans to install a utility grade, 4-megawatt (MW) solar power system at its Eastgate Campus in the Indianapolis metropolitan area.
The company plans to replace its traditional utility power consumption with the on-site microgrid, which will be operational by April 2014. Lifeline expects that the solar modules—to be installed on the facility’s rooftop, as well as in several sections of the parking lot—should provide enough power for the data center over the next 25 years.
“Lifeline Data Centers has maintained an on-going interest in solar power and has investigated several options for installing a large array of solar panels,” the company stated in a blog post. It is installing the solar modules with help from Indianapolis Power & Light and New Generation Power of Chicago.
Co-owner Alex Carroll commented, “I am very proud that Lifeline Data Centers is one of the first large independent data center facilities in the country to be largely powered by solar energy.”
Eventually, Lifeline hopes to have its facilities LEED-certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.
In related news, just two months ago, in July, Apple announced plans to build an 18-megawatt solar photovoltaic power plant to power a new data center just east of Reno, Nevada. "We will be making use of the excellent natural solar radiation and geothermal resources in Nevada to completely meet the energy needs of our data center," the Cupertino, California, company revealed in its “Environmental Footprint Report.”
Plans for the facility, to be designated the Fort Churchill Solar Array, were outlined in a filing by the Las Vegas-based utility, NV Energy Inc., to the Nevada Public Utilities Commission, according to the local news source, The Fort Frances Times.
In a statement, Apple said all of its data centers use 100 percent renewable energy, "and we are on track to meet that goal in our new Reno data center using the latest in high-efficiency concentrating solar panels."
"The project will not only supply renewable energy for our data center but also provide clean energy to the local power grid, through a first-of-its-kind partnership with NV Energy. When completed, the 137-acre solar array will generate approximately 43.5 million kilowatt hours of clean energy, equivalent to taking 6,400 passenger vehicles off the road per year," the statement said.
In turn, NV Energy president and CEO Michael Yackira commented, “We’re excited to be in partnership with Apple on a new solar energy project, the first project under our new Green Energy Program.
Under the utility’s Green Energy Program, launched in June, NV Energy North obtained approval for a new customer-driven optional tariff that allows customers to elect to “use” more renewable energy. Any customer in Northern Nevada can elect to pay a premium that reflects the incremental cost of renewable energy. Larger customers such as Apple can work with NV Energy to design a renewable option that meets their business objectives, as long as the option does not shift any additional cost to other customers.
Photos above, courtesy of Lifeline Data Centers (top) and Apple (bottom) show the companies’ plans for their new data centers.
Edited by Rachel Ramsey
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