Area Energy Prices Influence Data Center Locations

from the the-cost-of-juice dept

There's been a lot of interest lately in ways for data centers to reduce their energy consumption and environmental footprint and by extension save money. Energy considerations are particularly important for companies like Microsoft and Google, which are both building massive data centers all around the country. A breakdown of state-by-state energy costs gives some insight into how these companies are selecting their locations. North Carolina, where Google is breaking ground on a new location, has seen a year-over-year decrease in the price of commercial energy, putting it in the top third of all states (Google also was given tax incentives by the state to locate there). Oklahoma has seen a rather precipitous drop in energy costs as well, so it's not surprising that Google is also building a site there. Energy prices also influenced Microsoft's decision to build in Washington state, which comes in at #10 on the list. Historically, states have tried to attract technology investments by offering tax incentives and promoting the education level of their citizens. In the future, they may also wish to tout the level of competition in their energy markets.


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  1.  
    identicon
    Poomer, Aug 14th, 2007 @ 1:01pm

    Renewable energy

    These Tech Giants have enough disposable income to do some good for the environment.

    A Windmill costs roughly 10,000 dollars not to mention tax breaks (and other incentives such as good publicity!)

    Solar panels in Arizona or Texas would be great!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Hawkeye, Aug 14th, 2007 @ 1:36pm

    Google in the corn

    Google recently started building a data center in Council Bluffs, IA -- # 9 on the list.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    buddhaplex, Aug 14th, 2007 @ 2:16pm

    Uhhh...just who is actually saving energy consumpt

    Seems to me that these deals were more about the tax breaks and lower energy COSTS...not lower USAGE.

    What about using some alternate energies? What about "Don't Be Evil", Google?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Jim, Aug 14th, 2007 @ 2:23pm

    Re: Uhhh...just who is actually saving energy cons

    I happen to know that the areas that they are putting data centers in WA and OR use lots of energy from the local damns on the columbia river. This is also why power is cheap there when there are 4 damns with in 40 miles power is pretty cheap.

     

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  5.  
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    Pol Bueller, Aug 14th, 2007 @ 3:05pm

    Cooling costs... Heat transfer...

    Given that a major cost of of running a Data Centre is the cooling I wonder if anyone has factored in the cost benefit of relocating to a cooler region (northern states or Canada)... heck, one might even be able to sell the excess heat, or use it to heat the rest of a building...

     

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  6.  
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    Joe Smith, Aug 14th, 2007 @ 3:21pm

    Re: Cooling costs... Heat transfer...

    Good idea, put data centers in places like Hudson's Hope or Kitimat in British Columbia where there are large hydro electric dams and air-conditioning means opening a window and hoping you don't freeze to death.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Matt, Aug 14th, 2007 @ 4:31pm

    Re: Renewable energy

    "These Tech Giants have enough disposable income to do some good for the environment."
    I don't think we get to decided who has "enough" money and who doesn't.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2007 @ 4:52pm

    I'd be interested to see the compared annual temperature averages between Washington, Idaho etc. and BC locations such as Hope and Kitimat.

    The second you cross the border it gets infinitely colder!

    The offset for for the reduced cost in cooling will have to be diverted to polar bear control!

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Joe Smith, Aug 14th, 2007 @ 10:29pm

    Re:

    The second you cross the border it gets infinitely colder!

    That is probably because Canada uses Celius instead of Fahrenheit.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Charles Griswold, Aug 14th, 2007 @ 11:29pm

    Re: Uhhh...just who is actually saving energy cons

    Seems to me that these deals were more about the tax breaks and lower energy COSTS...not lower USAGE.

    What about using some alternate energies? What about "Don't Be Evil", Google?
    They're already working on lower usage; re-read the first sentence of the article. As for alternative energy, they're doing that, too.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    RandomThoughts, Aug 15th, 2007 @ 8:25am

    Since cooling the facility is the energy hog, why don't they just locate the server farms in Iceland and keep the windows open?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    "ill" Duce, Aug 15th, 2007 @ 11:33am

    Re: Google in the corn

    Yeah I can't believe it. I grew up in CB.
    Does this mean that Manaswamp will be a fashionable place to live?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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