Data centers could suck up 10% of Northwestern power by 2030
Originally posted on Gigaom:
Supersized data centers built in the Northwest of the U.S. could consume 10 percent of the region’s power by 2030, if the data center infrastructure isn’t made more efficient, according to an article in The Oregonian. Facebook (s FB), Apple (s AAPL), Google (s GOOG) and Amazon (s AMZN) have all built, or are building, huge data centers in the area, looking to take advantage of the cheap power and local tax incentives.
So called data center clusters arise for a variety of reasons — beyond the Northwest, there’s a cluster in North Carolina and Northern Virginia, among other places. Facebook and Microsoft have told us they have about 50 criteria for selecting certain locations, including low cost and reliable power, aggressive tax incentives, the need for rural areas, the need for available water, a desire for fast deployment, and even the lemming effect (data center operators feel more comfortable going to where the others are).
The Northwest area — Oregon and Washington — also have cool climates so that the next-generation of data centers built in those regions can use outside air for cooling, which cuts down on their need for large air conditioners and thus reduces energy costs. GigaOM visited Facebook’s data center in Oregon last month and brought you this rare look of how the air flows and server rooms look.