How Cool! Google’s Next Renewably-Powered Data Center Replaces a Coal Plant

This is so cool – Google’s next 100% renewable energy-powered data center will be built on the grounds of a coal plant that’s about to close.

Construction starts next year at the site of Widows Creek coal-fired power plant in Alabama. Google wants to take advantage of existing infrastructure – like power lines that can carry renewable energy to the data center.

Google Alabama

As do all Google data centers, this one will incorporate super-efficient servers, state-of-the-art cooling methods, and even machine learning to use as little energy as possible. “Compared to five years ago, we now get 3.5 times the computing power out of the same amount of energy,” says Patrick Gammons, Senior Manager, Data Center Energy and Location Strategy, for Google.

“We’ve become the largest corporate renewable energy purchaser in the world. In fact, we’ve bought the equivalent of over 1.5% of all installed wind capacity in the US. We’re glad to see this trend is catching on among other companies,” he says.

It certainly has caught on with Apple and Facebook, and  Amazon finally committed to 100% renewably-powered data centers and made its first wind purchase.

Google ranks #3 in Greenpeace’s latest analysis of Internet companies in its 2015 Click Clean Report, saying:

“Google remains a leader within the sector on deployment of renewable energy, with a strong combination of procurement, investment, and policy advocacy helping to green the grid even in areas where Google does not have data center operations.

“Google continues to make progress towards its commitment to be 100% renewably powered, and has outlined clear principles for how it will seek to expand its supply of renewable energy as it continues to grow. Google will need to redouble these efforts in several markets, however, as its ability to access renewable energy is being restricted by monopoly electric utilities in parts of the US as well as in new markets abroad as it continues to expand its global cloud infrastructure.

Read our article, Greenpeace Praises Apple, Facebook, Google for Leadership on Renewable Energy.

Read the 2015 Click Clean Report report:


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