The Hewlett-Packard company announced in late July that it had signed a long-term deal with SunEdison, Inc. to purchase wind power to run all of HP's Texas data centers.
The 12-year purchase agreement provides HP with 112 MWs which will be used to run the company's Texas operations, including its Austin data center, Houston data center and Plano data center. By working with SunEdison, HP is able to improve its data center sustainability and cut its greenhouse gas emissions by a dramatic amount. The company set a goal to reduce operational greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent from their levels in 2010 by 2020. The new power purchase agreement will enable HP to reduce emissions by the allocated amount five years ahead of schedule. HP's Texas data center cover an area of more than 1.5 million square feet, and the company has said that using wind power for those sites will allow it to avoid creating emissions of more than 340,000 tons of carbon monoxide.
"This agreement represents the latest step we are taking on HP's journey to reduce our carbon footprint across our entire value chain, while creating a stronger, more resilient company and a sustainable world," said Gabi Zedlmayer, vice president of corporate affairs and chief progress officer at HP.
Making Strides Toward Data Center Sustainability
HP is just the latest in a string of major tech companies that are turning to alternative energy sources to sustain their increasing need for power. With so many new data centers being created, the need for sustainable resources is growing rapidly. According to a recent report from the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, U.S. data centers consumed 78 million MWh in 2010, which is equal to 2 percent of the total electricity demand in the U.S. In 2013, data centers consumed 91 million MWh, or 2.4 percent of total U.S. consumption. In order to decrease the strain on the national energy grid and improve their impact on the environment, many data center operators are looking to wind and solar power to meet their energy needs.
HP has been increasing its focus on data center sustainability over the last few years, but the wind power purchase agreement with SunEdison is the first large-scale purchase of renewable energy the company has made so far. The money from the deal will also allow SunEdison to begin construction on a new Texas wind farm which will eventually generate a total of 300 MW. The power for HP's Texas data centers will be produced by the farm and the remaining energy will be sold to other operators.
"Wind generated electricity represents a good business opportunity for Texas and for HP," said Paul Gaynor, executive vice president for the Americas and EMEA at SunEdison. "By powering their data centers with renewable energy, HP is taking an important step toward a clean energy future while lowering its operating costs. At the same time, HP's commitment allows us to build this project which creates valuable local jobs and ensures Texan electricity customers get cost-effective energy."
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