Greenpeace Praises Facebook’s Solar Effort
Facebook gets a cheer for using a bit of solar energy, but Greenpace isn’t satisfied yet
After criticising Facebook for its use of electricity generated from coal, Greenpeace International has praised the social media giant for building a solar array at its new new data centre in Prineville, Oregon, – albeit one which only provides a tiny fraction of the power centre needs.
The array can generate about 100 kilowatts of energy, and is expected to produce about 204,000 kilowatt hours per year, according to a report by Data Centre Knowledge.
That is nevertheless a fraction of the expected power usage of the new 300,000 square foot facility, which has been estimated as being in the dozens of megawatts.
However, Greenpeace was generous in its encouragement of Facebook’s efforts.
“Facebook is to be commended for their innovation on the energy efficiency side, and hopefully this initial investment in renewable energy will quickly translate into a bigger commitment to power Facebook with clean energy and move away from coal and other dirty sources of electricity,” said Daniel Kessler, communications manager for Greenpeace International, in a statement emailed to journalists.
The array is expected to provide power to office areas rather than to server rooms, according to Data Centre Knowledge.
The data centre draws its power from utility PacifiCorp, which generates most of its energy from coal. Twenty-one percent of the company’s power generation comes from renewable sources such as wind, hydroelectricity and geothermal power.
Facebook has, however, emphasised the facility’s energy efficiency. It operates at a Power Usage Effectiveness rating of 1.07, making it one of the industry’s more efficient data centresm and Facebook claims it will use 38 percent less power than comparable facilities.
It is expected to highlight Facebook’s reliance on ‘dirty’ sources such as coal in a report to be released on Thursday called “How Dirty Is Your Data?”, which will examine the “energy choices of Facebook and its IT peers”.