Top Green Data Center Facilities
Many companies aim to have efficient, green data centers, and here is a list of the top performers. There are a lot of renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, and hydroelectricity that help to power these data centers. When coupled with top-of-the-line electrical equipment and innovative cooling solutions, the latest generation of data centers is among the planet's greenest facilities.
To rate the facilities a number of factors have been taken into account. Power usage effectiveness (PUE), despite it's ability to be manipulated, is one way to get a basic understanding of the energy use for comparison. Certifications, such as the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and EnergyStar rating, also play a role in how environmentally friendly the facility was constructed and operating. Other inputs have been measured as well, such as Greenpeace's Click Clean reports, to understand the end-to-end energy consumption.
It should also be noted that some of the most efficient data centers are not necessarily the most robust in terms of reliability. There are redundant components, equipment, and systems that are streamlined for better performance holistically. Additionally, other factors are not considered, such as connectivity to existing networks or geographic safety of the region.
Green Mountain - Stavanger, Norway; reuse of an underground NATO facility, with 100% renewable power and cooled using nearby fjords.
NREL - Colorado, USA; liquid cooling with waste heat reuse for heating buildings and snow melting 1.
Verne Global Data Denter - Keflavik, Iceland; 100% run on geothermal and hydroelectricity.
eBay - South Jordan, UT, USA; LEED Gold certification coupled with PUE <1.04.
Other World Computing - Woodstock, IL, USA; 100% wind powered, with partial geothermal cooling; LEED Platinum certified General Electric - Louisville, KY; Leed Platinum certified with highly efficient electrical systems.
Equinix - Toronto, Canada; Lake Ontario lake water cooling.
Alibaba - Hangzhou, China; Lake water-cooled coupled with immersion, free air cooling, and energy use offsets.
LG - Busan, Korea; Brill award winner for using an innovative exterior air cooling system.
Lefdal Mine Data Center - Lefdal, Norway; Fjord water cooling and power generation, with zero CO2 emissions and zero net water usage, and reuse of an existing facility (an abandoned mine).
Green House Data - Cheyenne, WY; operational practices to utilize free air cooling up to 80% a year.
Yahoo - Niagara, NY; sustained efficient operation over time with passive cooling.