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Data centre project looks to renewables

Researchers are aspiring to show that a network of wind and solar-powered data centres could transform the data and renewable energy industries.

By Renewable Energy Focus Staff

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has partnered with Clarkson University, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), HP and other private businesses to launch the project, which aims to make use of a distributed network to make data centre technology more energy-efficient and cost-effective than current methods.

NYSERDA is investing US$300,000 in the project. Backers envision the creation of a renewable energy-driven Performance Optimised Data Centre (POD) system that could be available on a large scale.

Distributed networks (or cloud computing) are key to the project. For example, sites could be installed at wind turbine farms in Albany and Buffalo. If the wind is blowing in Buffalo, processing would be routed there.

Clarkson engineers and students will be experimenting with the concept of managing data through a network of servers powered by renewable energy, such as wind turbines or photovoltaic systems.

Francis J. Murray Junior, President and CEO of NYSERDA, says: “One way for the New York economy to grow is for us to think about the way we use electricity more intelligently and efficiently to power business technology. NYSERDA is pleased to be supporting this project. We believe it can serve as a model for technology-based businesses and can help grow high-tech jobs in New York State.”

Alan Lee, Vice President for Research at AMD, says: “AMD has a long history leading the battle against power consumption in the data centre. This significant project with HP, NYSERDA and Clarkson University is a natural next step and will help researchers develop cleaner, more efficient and more cost-effective data centres that run on solar and wind power, which will clearly be needed to sustain the expected growth of public and private networks."

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Energy infrastructure  •  Solar electricity  •  Wind power

 

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