i/o Data Centers Lines Up Generators

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i/o Data Centers said today that it has reached an agreement with Empire Power Systems, the Caterpillar distributor for Arizona and Southeast California to ensure that it will have backup power for the build-out of its data centers. That will include 16 megawatts of backup power for i/o Data Centers’ Scottsdale ONE facility, all supplied by Caterpillar.

“The Caterpillar name implies quality,” said Tony Wanger, Senior Managing Director of i/o Data Centers. “Cat has a reputation as being a premium product in this market, and that matches up well with our desire to create a high level of confidence in our ability to host our client’s most important information. In the arrangement with Empire, we get the highest quality of product and we also have access to the capabilities of a very large Caterpillar distributor.”

Strong demand for diesel generators from data center builders and growing economies in China and India have contributed to a delivery backlog for large generators, with backlogs approaching a year for some larger models. Many new data centers are arranging for large volumes of power, which places additional pressure on manufacturing capacity. DuPont Fabros has 32 generators at its new facility in Ashburn, Virginia, while Google has received permits for up to 38 generators for its new data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa. With that level of demand, procuring generators becomes a key element of the data center construction timetable.


Scottsdale ONE is the first facility for i/o Data Centers, which plans to build a national data center network. i/o Data Centers is an affiliate of private equity firm IO Capital, LLC with $100 million in assets. i/o’s management team developed and operated the Downtown Phoenix Technology Exchange before selling it to Digital Realty Trust in a 2006 transaction valued at $175 million.

“We appreciate the efforts of i/o Data Centers to bring value to their clients,” said Brett Burns, General Manager at Empire Power Systems. “They certainly didn’t take a traditional approach to their power needs. The management of the company had prior experience in operating data centers. As a result, they were very involved in the selection process for each section of the power system, and made an ‘all things considered’ decision on each component. The very nature of standby power isn’t something that you want to outsource to the lowest bidder.”

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.