Verizon, AMD, HP Study Sustainable Energy

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Public and private sector organizations are uniting on several projects in the name of researching innovative ways to reduce energy and making renewable energy sources a viable source for powering the data center.

Verizon Partners with NREL

Last week Verizon (VZ) announced that it has partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and signed a memorandum of understanding to develop innovative ways to reduce energy use in the information and communications technology industry. Verizon will work with the laboratory to develop a possible blueprint for reducing energy use throughout the IT industry, with an end goal to become more energy efficient itself. The two groups will share technical expertise in two areas: energy efficiency and energy management at Verizon’s buildings, including data centers; and advancement of smart grid technologies and best practices, including energy and communication technologies in homes and buildings.

“Innovation and application of energy-saving technologies in a way that makes sense in the marketplace are vital to improving the nation’s economy and environment,” said Dan Arvizu, director of the laboratory. “NREL’s collaboration with Verizon offers a variety of possibilities for using clean energy and improving energy efficiency in a large and meaningful way.”

In 2010, Verizon received 21 awards for its sustainability achievements, and in January the company received the Groundbreaker Award from the Clean Economy Network Education Fund. Earlier this year Verizon developed the carbon intensity metric to accurately measure carbon efficiency, which then enabled it to quantify the impact of all their green initiatives. NREL is operated for the Department of Energy by the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC.

AMD, HP, Clarkson University and NYSERDA team for research

AMD announced Monday that it will participate in a study with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), HP and Clarkson University to research the industry-wide challenge of channeling renewable energy directly to data centers.

“The distributed computing model of the cloud parallels the distributed power-generation model of solar and wind energy,” said Alan Lee, corporate vice president of Research and Advanced Development, AMD.  “Directing power to data centers from these emerging renewable energy resources without relying on a large-scale, traditional electrical grid is a key challenge. One ultimate goal is the co-location of dynamic energy sources with dynamic computing resources to improve the economics, performance, and environmental benefits of both infrastructures.”

The funding from public and private sectors will allow the research phase of the project to begin, where students will begin experimentation on effectively managing data through a distributed network based on renewable energy.

The second phase of the project plans to incorporate hardware elements, including HP’s Performance Optimized Datacenter (POD) fully integrated with HP ProLiant servers using the AMD Opteron processor. NYSERDA is investing $300,000 in the project, which will leverage an additional $374,000 in private funds.

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