A new Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) has been announced between Infomart Data Centers and Noble Americas Energy Solutions to purchase electricity sourced from Pacific Northwest-based federal power agency Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) for its Portland data center. A long-time leading national wholesale provider, Infomart’s recent approval from Portland General Electric to become a Direct Access customer has enabled the company to source power from BPA, which is among the largest suppliers of hydroelectric power in the U.S. and boasts one of the lowest carbon footprints in the country.
The benefits of Infomart becoming a Direct Access customer include being able to choose the energy mix and energy suppliers for its Portland data center, while remaining a power distribution service customer of PGE. In addition, the power being purchased has an emission factor currently equal to 0.0195 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions (CO2e) per megawatt hour (MWh) according to the California Air Resources Board, 96% less than the U.S. average of 0.5157 metric tons of CO2e per MWh reported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Direct Access will also allow Infomart to obtain electricity at market rates that are typically below traditional utility tariffs, which is hugely advantageous for customers with energy-intensive data center requirements.
“Direct Access is about having more choices,” stated John Sheputis, President of Infomart Data Centers. “We place great value on the freedom to make our own energy resource decisions, which is why we prefer to develop data centers in areas with open and competitive energy markets. We purposely sought the Direct Access right with the intent to source low-carbon power for our Portland facility. Our tenants value sustainability, and now, with no additional effort on their part, we’ve helped them achieve that goal at rates historically below traditional utility tariffs. It is the latest example of the Company’s commitment to environmental stewardship and being the leader in sustainable IT operations,” continued Sheputis.
With 31 federal hydro projects, Bonneville Power Administration markets wholesale electrical power throughout the Columbia River Basin while promoting energy efficiency, renewable resources and new technologies. The Columbia River Basin itself accounts for 44 percent of the total hydroelectric generating capacity in the U.S., and BPA markets nearly 70 percent of the electricity generated by these facilities
Infomart Portland is currently undergoing a 16 MW and 100,000-square-foot expansion that will be completed in the summer of 2016. By virtue of this expansion project, Infomart Portland will become the largest merchant data center in Oregon and one of the largest on the West Coast. The facility features numerous domestic and trans-Pacific network choices, benefits from an absence of sales taxes for purchases used in Oregon, and additional Enterprise Zone property tax benefits. Infomart Portland also help tenants lower overall energy consumption and realize sustainable IT operations. The facility operates at an industry-leading Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) rating of 1.16 in full economization mode. Infomart Portland, with the designation of low-carbon power, is on its way to creating the most sustainable IT operation in the country.
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