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WindData Plans Wind-Powered Data Centre In Texas

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New wind power venture claims to offer long-term cheap power to businesses

WindData is to build a data centre in the US which uses wind power generated from its wind farms.

The company, formed by veterans of the wind power industry, plans to build the facility near Austin, Texas and hopes to have it operational by late 2012.

Everything’s bigger in Texas

WinData is a subsidiary of Baryonyx, an energy company formed by alumni of British wind power company Eclipse Energy, which sees the operation as one which builds wind farms to generate power for its data centres.

The approach is an example of a renewable energy company looking to expand into the data centre industry and WindData believes that its ability to offer long-term deals on power pricing will be a key advantage for its service.

“We can offer tenants in our data center fixed-price power for the term of the lease. It removes uncertainty about price spikes in the market, and also removes uncertainty from any carbon legislation,” commented Ian Hatton, CEO of Baryonyx.

The company has plans for up to five data centres at the site in Texas, the first of which will be a 123 square foot building, which will also be able to use other energy sources in the event of low wind. Baryonyx is also constructing two wind farms in Mexico and one in Texas.

Wind of Change

WindData hopes that potential tenants will be keen to invest. The company has negotiated a deal with local authorities that will see businesses save up to $150,000 (£96,000) a year in city and county taxes if they invest $25m (£16m) in server equipment, while benefiting from long-term cheap power.

Graeme Walker, CFO of Baryonyx said that the new data centre “gives us the ability to offer power using a flat fixed cost structure at a very favourable price, with energy costs as low as 4.6 cents (2.9p) per KWh”.

Wind power has been increasingly used by companies wishing to lower their energy costs and their environmental impact.

In July 2010, Google agreed to purchase 114 megawatts of energy from a wind farm in Iowa at a pre-determined rate in order to power several of its data centres, while earlier this year it invested £70m in the world’s biggest wind farm in Oregon, which, when complete in 2012, will produce 845 megawatts of energy.

Alcatel Lucent has also seen the benefits and last year constructed a mobile phone base station which used a combination of wind power and solar energy.