365 Main Nets Green Savings in Oakland

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Energy efficiency efforts at 365 Main’s new Oakland, Calif. data center will reduce annual energy consumption by more than 1.67 million kilowatt hours (kWh), enough energy to power approximately 242 homes each year, the company said today. The effort has earned the 365 Main more than $168,000 in rebates from Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E), the local power utility, to help offset the cost of the improvements.

The measures were implemented through Savings By Design, an energy conservation initiative backed by four of California’s power companies: PG&E, San Diego Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison, and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD). “Energy-efficient development is a top priority for us not only because it helps keep energy costs down, but also because we know we’re ultimately reducing our company’s carbon footprint,” said Chris Dolan, CEO of 365 Main.


Under the Savings By Design process, PG&E and a third party reviewed design drawings of 365 Main’s 111,000 square foot Oakland data center, and recommended design changes that would reduce power usage. Among the suggestions that were implemented:

  • High-efficiency motors: Installing efficient motors throughout the data center improves the overall output of each device without drawing additional power. With an estimated annual cost savings of $4,335 the expected payback period is less than 2 years.
  • Variable speed drives on the cooling tower fan motors: Cooling towers circulate the water throughout the data center’s air conditioning system. Using variable speed drives allows the motors to ramp up and down as needed, compared to the “always on” state of traditional fan motors. The payback period for the premium variable speed drives is 3 years, with an annual energy savings of 66,828 kWh and estimated annual cost savings of $8,019.
  • High-efficiency pumps: High-performance pumps circulate 10 percent more water per minute than traditional pumps, but use the same amount of electricity. Estimated annual cost savings: $8,253.
  • High-efficiency chillers: Boosting cooling capacity 20 percent above that of traditional chillers will save 404,274 kWh and produce cost savings of $48,513.
  • High-efficiency uninterruptible power supply (UPS): The biggest gains were found in at the UPS level with a flywheel that achieved a 93-96% efficiency, for an estimated energy savings of 1.09 million kWh and estimated annual cost savings of $131,339

These measures were deemed by Savings By Design to have produced total estimated annual energy savings of 1.67 million kWh, and estimated annual cost savings of $200,460.

“As an industry leader in energy efficiency, PG&E helps our customers implement building design that makes good sense – to the owner, to the design team, to the environment and to the bottom line,” said Helen Burt, senior vice president and chief customer officer at PG&E. “We are excited to see 365 Main showing such leadership and commitment to the environment.”

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.