It's not very often that a utility literally pays back a customer. NetApp got an early Christmas gift on Dec. 8: a cool $1.4 million rebate from the local power company -- Pacific Gas & Electric -- in the San Francisco Bay area.
Now that news should motivate some other companies to consider modernizing old data centers for better power usage.
NetApp, the Sunnyvale, Calif., data storage network provider, was recognized for its continued environmental stewardship to improve its energy efficiency, conserve resources and reduce waste.
PG&E, which is among the most forward-thinking utilities on the planet, presented NetApp with a rebate of $1,427,477 under PG&E's Non-Residential New Construction Program, which encourages PG&E's commercial, industrial, high-technology and agricultural customers to implement energy-efficient building and process design and construction.
NetApp's rebate is the largest new construction incentive PG&E has awarded. The company received the rebate for the design of its new Sunnyvale engineering data center and the measures it implemented to more efficiently provide power and decrease the energy needed for cooling.
Upgrades included environmentally friendly flywheel UPS (uninterruptible power supply) systems, energy-efficient transformers, outside air economizers and a variable primary chiller plant. The Station has visited this data center; it is indeed impressive.
As a result of NetApp's energy-efficiency improvements, its data center is projected to operate at PUE (power usage effectiveness) of less than 1.3, which is considered a best-in-class metric for data center energy efficiency. In addition, PG&E estimates that NetApp will save more than 11.1 million kilowatt-hours each year, which represents a savings of about $1.2 million and a reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by a whopping 3,391 tons annually.
Nice to have some good business news, for a change.