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Data Centre Claims European Clean Power First

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Companies such as BT and Logica will be taking advantage of sustainable power at no extra cost

A data centre operator based in Wales claims to be the first in Europe to run a facility on 100 percent renewable energy.

Next Generation Data (NGD) Europe, based in Newport, says it is the only provider in Europe that can offer customers access to the 750,000 square foot data centre running on purely renewable energy.

According to NGD, it won’t be charging customers such as BT and Logica any more for renewable energy. And if anything goes wrong with the supply, NGD is keen to point out that it has a 180 MVA back-up sub-station which also connects to the national grid.

“In an industry which consumes over two percent of the UK’s total power supply, it is a significant step to ensuring our operations are as competitive, efficient and environmentally-friendly as possible,” said Nick Razey, CEO of Next Generation Data Limited. “The mounting pressure and legislation for reducing carbon footprint and emissions will increasingly affect large IT users and their data centre operations, which is why we always planned to be totally supplied by renewable energy from the outset of the project.”

Smartest Energy

The data centre operator is sourcing the power from renewable power company Smartest Energy. The provider claims to be the leading purchaser and supplier of electricity from independent generators in the UK and supplies electricity to companies including Marks & Spencer, Toyota, Hitachi and Eurostar.

Commenting on the deal, Martin Balaam, managing director of BT Engage IT said that it would be able to pass on the benefits down to its managed IT service business customers. “This is also further good news for our many managed IT service business customers which are already benefiting from significant cost savings, following our move to NGD Europe earlier this year,” he said.

Earlier this year data centre operator Telehouse opened a new data centre in East London which it claims will provide heat to the surrounding housing developments.

Free Air Cooling

Data centre companies worldwide are increasingly looking for renewable and sustainable sources of power and cooling to generate both energy and cost savings. ISP and hosting company Other World Computing (OWC) recently became the first US data centre operator to run its operation entirely on wind power. The 131-foot on-site wind turbine was erected on 19 October 2009, and has since been providing all the electrical power for its facility in Woodstock, Illinois.

Also in 2009, Telehouse rival TeleCityGroup opened a data centre in Stockholm, Sweden, least year, which uses power generated by wind and hydropower and “free air” cooling to regulate temperatures for 4 months of the year. Meanwhile, the the world’s first sea water air conditioned (SWAC) data centre opened in Mauritius, drawing cold sea water from nearly 2000 metres down to cool its heat exchanges.