THE DEBATE: Is Solar Power Good for Data Centers??

Today, Data Center Knowledge presented an interesting article, “Is Solar Power for Data Centers a Bad Idea?”, which brings into question the true environmental and economic impact of various solar arrays present at some of the large-scale data center installations popping up throughout the country.

Facebook has a solar array assisting the power supply to its Prineville, Oregon data center, although, according to the article, it only supplies power to the offices, not the servers inside the actual data center. Additionally, questions are being raised with regards to Apple’s New 20 MW solar farm currently under construction in Maiden, North Carolina. See video of the construction here.

Environmentalists, industry professionals, and everyone in between has an opinion. Are these steps in the right direction, or are they merely a marketing strategy? Is it a situation where, in order to make an omelette you must first crack a few eggs? Is something better than nothing, or should something simply be something else? We don’t have the answers, nor can we predict the future, but perhaps it is a discussion worth having.

Let the discussion begin…


About Five 9s Digital, LLC

Five 9s Digital is a data center real estate company offering data center development, investment sales, real estate advisory, and colocation and wholesale data center selection and procurement services. Five 9s Digital has been involved in the development and ownership of multiple mission critical facilities from single user build-to-suit facilities to multi-tenant data centers. Five 9s Digital brings a wealth of experience, background and expertise in providing solutions to the data center arena. Due to the specific and yet evolving requirements of mission critical end users in today’s world, Five 9s Digital is able to offer real solutions, real facilities, and real choices due its extensive and up-to-date knowledge base. Five 9s Digital is a Best Data Sites Certification Alliance™ member.
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2 Responses to THE DEBATE: Is Solar Power Good for Data Centers??

  1. Michael Whitesides says:

    You can’t stop the green energy movement, and you can’t keep it from the data center industry. Right or wrong, cost effective or not, there are data centers out there who are using alternative energy. I was surprised there were no links to a previous article from datacenterfix, which talks about the downside of solar power in data centers:

    Whether or not solar power is cost effective for data centers is still anyone’s guess. Some companies can make it work. I happen to work at a firm that uses solar for a server room. It’s small scale compared to Apple, but we like it.

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