California Data Center Owned By CenturyLink Gets Natural Gas Power Plant

CenturyLink announced in early April that it deployed an on-site natural gas power generation plant from Bloom Energy to fuel the expansion of its Southern California data center.

The deal, which was initially announced in 2013, has been completed and provides CenturyLink with a 500kW power plant that will create the energy for part of the load for the Irvine data center's 2MW expansion. The facility will be the first multi-tenant site in Southern California to rely on natural gas as a power source. Prior to the agreement with CenturyLink, Bloom's involvement in the data center market was primarily in single-tenant facilities. Two major locations, a North Carolina data center owned by Apple and a Utah data center used by eBay are both supplied with energy from Bloom power generators.

Utilizing a power plant that runs off natural gas is a strong effort on the part of CenturyLink to appeal to customers interested in data center sustainability efforts. By making their services available to clients that wish to power their computing infrastructures with clean energy, CenturyLink is getting out ahead of a growing market. While there isn't much interest for data center sustainability initiatives among traditional colocation customers, there is some being created here and there, and that interest is growing at a steady pace.

CenturyLink's Vice President of Global Colocation Drew Leonard said that the company frequently gets requests for information on the renewable energy sources used within its facilities.

"That is only going to increase over time," said Leonard. "It's going to make or break a lot of companies' decisions about where they're going to…colocate equipment."

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