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I read a feature article earlier today from #Gigaom’s @UciliaWang announcing that a startup, “Fjord IT opened its first data center space in Oslo and is banking on a air cooling technology and cheap hydropower to attract European customers who want low-carbon cloud services,” using a much smaller footprint. http://gigaom.com/2013/03/19/a-norwegian-startup-launches-its-green-data-center-services/.  Ucilia went on to say that the “1,000 square meter (3,280 square feet) pilot project, is at the Hogas Industrial Park in Oslo. The space is filled with its efficient cooling technology and is also powered by cheap hydropower, which has a lower carbon footprint than fossil fuel-based power. Those attributes could make its IT services appealing to environmentally-minded businesses as well as businesses in countries that have renewable energy and emission-reduction goals.”

Gigaom’s article today was music to my ears, since I have been researching a white paper on large scale Greenfield data center parks like Niobrara planning to generate most of their 100+ MW onsite in Colorado and Green.ch in Switzerland selling excess generation back to the grid, both incorporating next generation cooling, DC power distribution, and microgrid based distributed generation technologies (see http://www.missioncriticalmagazine.com/articles/85560-green-uses-abb-decatholon-dcim, and http://www.ch2m.com/corporate/markets/energy/niobrara-energy-park.asp.)  What concerned me most, was I was hearing these stories about new plans for huge 50+ MW data center campuses in North America, Europe, and Asia, but I was hearing little about the smaller data centers, which will also undoubtedly grow as our demand for more processing power, cloud, virtualized environments and BYOD support grows.

Given that most commercial and government data centers are still smaller and were built during an era when PUE’s of 2.0 or 3.0 were the norm and standard in the industry, the Fjord IT story reminded me that data centers of the past are becoming “Somebody I Used To Know!

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I’m currently writing a white paper on large scale Data Center Energy Parks and Micro Grids, and am looking for examples and comments on #DemandResponse, #SmartGrid, #Renewables, and #DistributedGeneration.  I believe that there has been a lot of noise in the market about the Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple next generation data centers, but the discussion of the potential for these sites to leverage distributed renewables, utility scale battery storage, demand response, and other energy market monetization options has been secondary at best.  There are a number of excellent examples in the planning stages including the #Niobrara Data Center Energy Park, and the #Vineyards on the front range of Colorado.  I’d like to find additional great examples to highlight. Please send me a note if you have stories or examples.  If I use the content, I will make sure you get referenced and linked in the final document.

 

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