The Stack Archive News Article

Equinix to install clean fuel cells in 12 U.S. data centres

Wed 16 Aug 2017

Fuel cell Equinix

Equinix is planning to install clean fuel cells at 12 of its data centres across the United States.

The leading data centre provider has signed a 15-year agreement with major American utility firm Southern Company, which will see some of its International Business Exchange (IBX) data centres will be powered by Bloom Energy fuel cells.

The cells will provide an additional 37 megawatts of power and a phased installation will begin in late 2017 through to 2019.

The decision follows a pilot program at its Silicon Valley 5 data centre, which opened in 2015. The company also acquired two fuel cell powered centres from Verizon earlier this year, bringing Equinix’s total fuel cell power to more than 40 megawatts.

According to Equinix, the project will save 87 billion gallons of water and avoid 660,000 tons of carbon emissions over its lifetime. Other advantages of Bloom’s energy efficient fuel cells include ‘always-on’ power and relief for local utility providers.

The move is part of Equinix’s long-term goal of using 100% clean and renewable energy. It says that as of 2016, it has managed to reach 56% of its target.

Equinix’s Americas President, Karl Strohmeyer, said: ‘As Equinix data centres become increasingly critical to the infrastructure of our digital world, this fuel cell expansion is one step in lessening the overall impact of the digital economy on the planet.’

The Bloom fuel cells work through the use of a proprietary solid oxide technology which generates electricity in a clean process and creates by-products of water and a small amount of carbon dioxide. According to Equinix, dangerous sulphur oxides and nitrogen oxides are ‘virtually eliminated.’

Founder and CEO of Bloom Energy, KR Sridhar, said: ‘There is no greater compliment and validation of our energy platform than to have our existing customers continue to expand their deployments of Bloom Energy Servers, and today, Equinix is doing that in a big way.’

The company serves major organisations such as Google, AT&T and Coca-Cola.


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