Explaining Green and the Grid:
Today there is a focus on everything Green. We welcome this and support the effort to reduce our carbon footprint. But lets be fair when accessing the impact a data center has on this carbon footprint. Let's not just redistribute the load to the grid because some marketing approach makes you feel like you are doing your part.
There are hosts out there claiming that they are only using Wind and Solar to drive their data centers. Then in the same article they are stating they get their electric off the grid just like anyone else. We do not offer any smoke and mirrors market hype! For any company still attached to the grid to claim to be 100% wind and solar is really over the top.
We buy our electrical power off the grid but we are proud of the Northwestern Grid and will compare using WECC numbers for the western states and Canada included in the grid. 64% of our power even during summer is hydro and if anyone has forgot this is a zero carbon resource. We could easily point fingers at California, South Western, and Rocky Mtn based hosting provider but this is not the point of the article.
This chart is by state for the over all WECC grid and while our regional area and its cooperative groups fare much better we are only going to focus on the facts at this point.
Graphs based on EPA for our area though these figures are from 2007. As stated we are only going to provide facts and as anyone can see at glance we are way above the national average for hydro power generation and our carbon foot print is well below the national average.
This image is a short list of our local electrical provider and their current hydro generating locations for our local area.
Today, wind power is the world’s fastest growing renewable energy resource, along with biomass and solar. And Avista launched our Buck-A-Block voluntary rate program in 2002, and by 2006, participants were purchasing more than 56,000 megawatt hours of emission-free wind energy annually.
We have also done all we can inside the data center while in some areas we have cut energy consumption by as much as 50%. All new servers brought on line in the last 2 years do at least twice the work, reducing the number of machines required to do the same job. Also each new machine actually consumes 1/3 less power than previous servers.
We take our carbon foot print very seriously as every business should. Conservation of energy is equally important to reducing our carbon foot print. However, we will not ride the green train with hype and mis-leading claims. We have been a green company for over 10 years and will continue on this path as it is the correct way to do business.