Jun 21, 2010

New source of energy for data centers or simply B.S.?

What some get energized about, others see as B.S.  We’re talking cow manure here.

Digested farm waste (cow manure) could be turned into valuable energy to run data centers. Who knew? I grew up in a small Kansas town surrounded by farms where barnyard by-products were not considered a treasured valuable.

But a recent study by the world’s largest technology company, says otherwise. Hewlett-Packard Laboratories reports information technology and livestock industries have complementary characteristics that could help each other out.

Farmers need to properly dispose of their livestock waste which degrades the environment. Data centers are rapidly growing and consume substantial power. Why not work together for the benefit of both? The study outlines how a hypothetical farm of 10,000 dairy cows could fulfill the power requirements of a one-megawatt data center…about the size of a small computing center at a bank.

The concept would require building computing centers in more rural locales which would be a boon to those communities. H.P. engineers report a dairy farmer who rents land and power to technology companies could recoup an investment in about two years.

What a way to cash in on manure. At Codero, we rely on farms of another sort to power our operations. We made a commitment and substantial investment in 2009 to operate our data centers more efficiently and become an environmentally-friendly green hosting leader in our industry. Our dedicated server solutions are powered with 100% certified renewable energy sourced out of wind farms from the Pioneer Prairie Wind Farm, located in Howard County of Iowa. Confirmation is performed by the Center for Resource Solutions, the nation’s leading independent certification and verification program for renewable energy: Green-e. A Case Study by Green-e Marketplace offers more details about our search for the best renewable energy option.

Do you have an opinion on alternative energy sources? Is your organization doing something innovative to sustain the planet? Let us know. Comments are most welcome.

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