Doing things on the internet is becoming a bigger part of all our lives; you know, you’re reading this right now. This has many benefits, like all the world’s information a few clicks away or the ability to stay connected with friends and loved ones who you might not see face to face that often in the offline world. But all these bits of information flying back and forth around the world require countless servers that are hosted in gigantic buildings called data centers. These are multiplying like rabbits and use an increasingly important fraction of the world’s electricity. That’s why it matters so much that they no only be as energy-efficient as possible, but also powered by clean sources of energy.
Entire year on Facebook = Medium latte
The data center pictured above is Facebook’s latest project, to be built in Fort Worth, Texas. The company writes: “Along with our Altoona, Prineville, Forest City and Lulea data centers, Fort Worth will be one of the cornerstones of the global infrastructure that brings Facebook apps and services to you every day and is helping bring billions more people online through Internet.org.”
What’s interesting about it is that it’ll be 100% powered by renewable energy thanks to 200 MW of new wind capacity that will be added to the Texas grid in 2016 in partnership with Citigroup Energy, Alterra Power Corporation, and Starwood Energy Group. Facebook is really proud of this, as well as of its energy-efficiency efforts, like for example cooling the data center with outdoor air instead of energy-intensive air conditioners: “Thanks to our continued focus on efficiency and our investments in renewables in recent years, the carbon impact of one person’s use of Facebook for an entire year is the same as the carbon impact of a medium latte.”
This isn’t a proprietary design that only Facebook will benefit from, though. The company is sharing the plans of its data centers on the Open Compute Project, so that other companies who are building data centers can learn or borrow from what the internet giant has learned, which is very cool.
For more detail on how the internet giants are doing when it comes to renewable energy, check out: How Green is the Internet.