When the folks at EasyStreet Online Services of Beaverton, Oregon, set out to plan a leading-edge green data center, they didn’t know that the savings they would enjoy from their energy smart technologies would put them – and their customers – on easy street.
Using wind power – as well as high-speed flywheel energy storage from Vycon of Yorba Linda, California – EasyStreet now estimates that it will be able to save 1,532,634 kilowatts (KW) annually. That’s enough energy to power 153 average households.
A cloud managed services and co-location provider, EasyStreet recently built a new data center and completed an energy saving retrofit to its original data center. The company now buys 100 percent renewable power offsets for both data centers as part of the Portland General Electric Clean Wind Program, and data storage is supported by approximately 1 megawatt (MW) of Vycon’s environmentally friendly VDC-XE systems.
As John Crowhurst, director of Technical Services for EasyStreet, explained it, “Three years ago, we started buying wind offset credits for our first data center. We initially bought offsets for 50 percent of our power consumption. We gave our co-location customers the opportunity to participate in that program, and pay a small up-charge to be able to put a Portland General Electric Clean Wind logo on their websites, which means that we’re all participating in the program together.”
The company has now received confirmation from the utility that both data centers are zero carbon footprint energy consumers. According to Crowhurst, “that’s part of our plan moving forward.”
To make a data center green, it’s essential to start with the power that the cooling system uses. In addition, EasyStreet extended its green design to include the purchase of energy efficient uninterruptible power supply systems (UPS) and flywheels, because traditional battery-based UPS systems could neither meet the company’s sustainability goals nor their need for high nines (9's) of availability.
“We’ve had two battery-based UPSs for almost 12 years. While the UPSs, themselves, have been reliable, we've experienced three battery failures. We do preventive maintenance every quarter, as the factory recommends, and still we weren't able to avoid battery failures,” said Crowhurst. “Vycon's VDC-XE units were the perfect fit: They easily pair with highly efficient, double-conversion UPS systems and take up significantly less real estate than banks of batteries.”
As EasyStreet's new data center becomes more populated and energy demands increase, EasyStreet plans to add more double-conversion UPSs and Vycon flywheels. Crowhurst commented, “Reliability, sustainability and having a low carbon footprint are part of the ethos of our company. This vision with actual energy savings allows us to save money, which translates to saving our customers money -- it's a great win-win.”
“The use of our flywheels at EasyStreet is a great testament to not only the superb reliability of the systems, but to the green environmental aspects, as well. Customers don't need to sacrifice reliability to meet their green initiatives,” said Dann McKeraghan, vice president of Sales and Marketing for Vycon. “As EasyStreet's power needs increase, we look forward to scaling up the VDC-XE's to meet their energy demands.”
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Cheryl Kaften is an accomplished communicator who has written for consumer and corporate audiences. She has worked extensively for MasterCard (News - Alert) Worldwide, Philip Morris USA (Altria), and KPMG, and has consulted for Estee Lauder and the Philadelphia Inquirer Newspapers. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Jennifer Russell