IO Offers Renewable Energy to Phoenix Data Center Clients

Clean energy option comes at a premium provider says is incremental

Yevgeniy Sverdlik

February 27, 2015

2 Min Read
IO's data center modules
Data center modules now manufactured by BaseLayer inside an IO data center. (Photo: IO)IO

IO has introduced the option for customers to use 100 percent renewable energy to power their IT equipment within the provider’s Phoenix data centers.

While there is some interest among data center customers in using renewable energy to power their colocation space, there isn’t an overwhelming amount of demand for such a service, according to a recent survey by Cheyenne, Wyoming-based data center provider Green House Data.

IO’s new offering illustrates that there is some degree of demand, however. Digital Realty, a San Francisco-based data center provider, said in January it would give new customers in any of its data centers around the world one year of fully renewable energy completely free of charge, also illustrating that there was some interest in the market.

In addition to its Phoenix data center, IO also has a facility in nearby Scottsdale. The company's other data centers are in Ohio, New Jersey, U.K., and Singapore.

The company will offer the renewable energy option for a premium it said would be “incremental,” but did not provide specifics. A company spokesperson did not respond to a request to clarify in time for publication.

The data center provider is partnering on the program with local utility Arizona Public Service. IO said it would leverage the scale of power purchases by multiple customers to bring the cost of renewable energy down.

“By aggregating the energy use of our customers, IO applies scale efficiencies to data center operations and renewable energy procurement,” IO President Anthony Wanger said in a statement.

IO was recently split into two companies: IO the data center provider and BaseLayer, a maker of modular data centers and data center infrastructure management software.

BaseLayer and ASP, the Arizona utility, are currently conducting a proof-of-concept for a data center module running without backup generators, being fed power directly from bulk utility transmission lines, which are more reliable than the “last-mile” energy delivery infrastructure.

A bill that would incentivize investment in renewable energy by data center operators is currently moving through the Arizona legislature. If passed, it will benefit Apple, which announced earlier this month it would convert a defunct manufacturing facility in the City of Mesa into a massive data center.

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