Data centre in Minneapolis powered by 100% renewable energy
DataBank, a US data centre service company has recently signed an agreement with Dakota Electric Association stating that the company will pursue the purchase of 100% renewable energy. This energy will cover the demands of their Minneapolis based data centre over the following five years.
This data centre will follow in the footsteps of two other data centres owned by the provider. Their two facilities located in Indianapolis are already powered by 100% renewable energy.
Founded in 2005 in Dallas Texas, the company has expanded rapidly over the past 5 years, increasing their six centres in three markets to a staggering twenty data centers in nine markets.
The renewable energy in question will be provided through Dakota Electric’s Wellspring Programme. The power will be generated via Great River Energy, their wholesale power supply.
Data centre electricity consumption
The sheer quantity of electricity consumed throughout the United States by data centres alone reached a staggering peak of 90 billion kilowatt-hours. That equates to 3% of the entire continent's consumption. This figure is only predicted to further increase after a recent survey found that 70% of data centre facilities in the US recorded that the power density per rack had risen considerably over the past 7 years.
Not only do US based data centres rack up a huge amount of the country's electricity consumption, data centres around the world are responsible for approximately 1-1.5% of the global electricity consumption. The servers, storage systems, networks and infrastructure all contribute to the staggering consumption of electricity.
The future of DataBank
President and CFO of DataBank, Kevin Ooley stated, “Green energy and sustainability are critical aspects of DataBank's Data Center Evolved strategy”. This milestone highlights the company's commitment to fulfilling and seeing a reduction in its carbon footprint.
The future of the company appears to be extremely efficient, with a desire to reach a high level of energy efficiency at all of their facilities located throughout the US.
Schneider Electric reveals new IT Innovation report
Schneider Electric has released a new IT innovations report titled “Digital Economy and Climate Impact”, with the aim of gaining an understanding of how digitised and smart applications will be powered in the future. The company says that the report predicts that IT sector-related electricity demand is expected to increase by almost 50% by 2030.
Despite this, the report also shows that emissions would not increase by more than 26% by the same year, following the decarbonisation of the electricity system. In an attempt to reduce this rise in emissions the Schneider Electric TM Sustainability Research Institute recommends continued efforts in achieving efficiencies on the IT and energy sides at both the component and system levels.
The report highlights how the rise of edge computing technologies require a “specific focus” due to these systems being less efficient than hyperscale data centres. “When the world locked down, it also logged on and internet traffic soared,” said Pankaj Sharma, EVP, Secure Power, Schneider Electric.
“It’s misleading to assume that digital activity will inevitably result in a deeply problematic increase in CO2 emissions. The analysis from the Schneider Electric Sustainability Institute puts to rest many of the worst-case scenario claims predicting IT-related electricity use will double every five years. That said, as an industry, we must remain vigilant in finding new sources of sustainability gains while ensuring resiliency as digital keeps life moving forward”, he added.
As well as the release of the report, Schneider Electric also announced several updates to its EcoStruxure IT data center infrastructure management software, Galaxy VL 3-phase uninterruptable power supply (UPS), introducing an industry-leading single-phase UPS, the APC™ Smart-UPS™ Ultra. All introductions are designed to advance the industry forward in meeting sustainability goals while increasing the resiliency of IT and data centre infrastructure, the company said.
Managing hybrid data center and edge IT environments
Also showcased in Schneider Electric’s report are the increasing demands on digital consumption. According to the company, these create a more complex hybrid environment inclusive of enterprise, cloud, and edge data centres. Addressing the unique management challenges of a hybrid IT environment, Schneider Electric has announced updates to its EcoStruxure IT software to increase efficiency and resiliency, including:
- Increased remote management capabilities: New granular remote device configuration features enable users to change configurations on one or more devices – including the new Galaxy VL and APC Smart-UPS Ultra single-phase UPS units – from one centralised platform with EcoStruxure IT Expert. This update, combined with previously released software insights on device security health, enables the user to identify faulty devices or configurations and address them in a matter of clicks, keeping their hybrid IT environment secure.
- Improved environmental monitoring: Environmental monitoring systems ensure users have eyes and ears on data centre and IT deployments from anywhere, anytime. With this update, users can push mass configurations remotely for NetBotz cameras 750 and 755 quickly and efficiently increasing security across the critical infrastructure.
- Enhanced remote capacity modeling and planning: With EcoStruxure IT Advisor’s new capabilities, users can remotely compare an unlimited number of racks and easily identify available capacity, view what assets are deployed and their dependencies.
Sharma concluded: “Schneider Electric has been focused on sustainability for the past 15 years and was recently named the most sustainable corporation in the world. We have embraced the mindset that future innovation will deliver better efficiency across the broader connectivity landscape. By making smart intentional choices, our industry can help mitigate how much electricity and emissions result from the rising appetite for digital technologies”.