Citibank Green Project To Cut Costs In London Data Centre

Green Datacentre, renewable energy

A project financed by the UK Green Investment Bank is aiming to reduce the facility’s power consumption by 10 percent

Citibank aims to cut the power consumption of its London data centre by 10 percent in a first-of-a-kind project backed by the UK Green Investment Bank.

The Lewisham-based data centre is to see the installation of a a Combined Cooling and Power (CCP) system, along with power-efficient cooling units and improvements to the building’s air-conditioning system

Green power plug - dynamic © electriceye - Fotolia

Green objectives

The CCP is to generate 71 percent of the data centre’s power needs, while also providing server cooling. The bank currently uses mains electricity, with diesel generators providing back-up power.

The project, set for completion by the end of next year, is GIB’s first foray into the financial services sector. The bank was set up by the UK government to use public funds to finance green projects and meet government green economy objectives.

Citi said the project, which is to generate 23,680 MWh of energy per year, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions while making a “meaningful contribution” to reducing data centre running costs.

The total investment into the project will reach £5.2m, with Clarke Energy overseeing the upgrades to the data centre, which was built by GE Jenbacher.

‘Financial sense’

“Citi’s CCP facility will demonstrate the potential for energy, carbon and cost savings that can be delivered from high-efficiency technology,” said Clarke Energy chief executive James, Clarke, in a statement.

GIB chief executive Shaun Kingsbury noted that the IT industry is second only to aviation in its energy consumption, with energy represenging up to 80 percent of the cost of running a data centre.

“This project makes financial sense, reducing Citi’s energy costs, and makes environmental sense, reducing the data centre’s greenhouse gas emissions,” he stated. “And because of the innovative investment model, it will involve no upfront capital expenditure for Citi as the cost of the project will be paid for out of the energy cost savings achieved.”

Business minister Matthew Hancock said the project was “hugely welcome”.

The UK is third in the world behind the US and Japan in its consumption of data centre-related energy, which is estimated to reach reach about 3GW per year in the country. The banking and financial services sector is the largest consumer of data centre power, followed by IT services, media and telecommunications, according to Sustainable Development Capital (SDCL), GIB’s fund manager. SDCL said the project demonstrates that energy efficiency can go hand-in-hand with financial performance.

The government has so far invested £3.8bn into GIB, which is investing £2.6m in the Citibank project, matches by private-sector investors through a parallel fund.

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