Harpers magazine has published a copy of the site plan for Google’s data center in The Dalles, Oregon, which has been the subject of great interest since it was featured on the front page of The New York Times in June 2006. The facility has become a symbol for the data center industry’s growing need for massive amounts of electric power. The title of the Harpers piece (“Keyword: Evil”) is a good indicator of the article’s point of view. There’s been some discussion of the math in the story. The article assumes a power density of 500 watts per square foot to arrive at a total projected energy use for the facility of 103 megawatts of electricity. It appears this estimate is based on the total square footage of the data center structures (listed as three 68,680 square foot buildings) rather than technical space, so this number is probably on the high end.
Google watchers may also be interested in an interview with the company’s “green energy czar” Bill Weihl in the environmental journal Grist. Weihl discusses Google’s efforts to develop affordable renewable energy generation to support the company’s data center infrastructure.