Feeds

Facebook, the BIGGEST WINDBAG on the planet? It'll blow $300m trying

No fossil fuels needed for new data center (if you don't count its construction) ... bitch

High performance access to file storage

When Facebook's new Iowa data center goes live in 2015, it will be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy, the social network says.

Zuck & Co announced Altoona, Iowa as the site of its fourth major data center in April, saying that the new site will be a massive, 476,000-square-foot affair that will cost a minimum of $299.5m.

Among the reasons the company gave for locating the facility in Iowa was the Great Plains region's abundance of wind-generated power, which contributes roughly 20 per cent of the total energy for the state.

Now Facebook says that it expects all of the energy required to run its new data center to be supplied by a new wind farm being built in nearby Wellsburg, Iowa, which is due to be completed in 2014.

"We first started working on this project with RPM Access, a local wind project developer, as we were finalizing our decision to locate in Iowa," Facebook data center energy manager Vincent Van Son wrote in a blog post. "Earlier this spring, we transferred our rights to the development to MidAmerican Energy, our local utility, to build, own, and operate it."

Facebook's Wellsburg, Iowa wind farm

When it's finished, Facebook's Wellsburg, Iowa wind farm will look something like this, claims an artist

The new wind project is expected to generate as much as 138MW of power. It's not clear how much of that Facebook's servers are expected to draw, but it certainly won't be all of it. In 2011, Google estimated its entire, global power consumption at 260MW; Facebook's Iowa facility is only likely to require somewhere in the 20-30MW range. The rest of the generated power will be contributed back into the Iowa grid.

That excess capacity also leaves Facebook with room to expand. Its 194-acre Iowa site could potentially accommodate three data centers like the one it is building now, but each would need to draw an equivalent amount of power.

Not that this reliance on wind power will make Facebook completely green. Even its Iowa data center is sure to have filthy diesel generators on site in case of grid outages, and not all of Facebook's facilities have access to such a ready supply of renewable energy.

Van Son says Facebook's goal is to have renewable power account for 25 per cent of its total energy mix by 2015. By comparison, Google says it already draws more than 34 per cent of its global power needs from renewable sources. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
European Court of Justice rips up Data Retention Directive
Rules 'interfering' measure to be 'invalid'
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Cisco reps flog Whiptail's Invicta arrays against EMC and Pure
Storage reseller report reveals who's selling what
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Bored with trading oil and gold? Why not flog some CLOUD servers?
Chicago Mercantile Exchange plans cloud spot exchange
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
IT bods: How long does it take YOU to train up on new tech?
I'll leave my arrays to do the hard work, if you don't mind
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.