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FedEx Opens First Green Data Center

FedEx has opened its first environmentally friendly data center, the company has announced.

The shipping company opened the data center adjacent to its Rocky Mountain Tech Center in Colorado Springs yesterday.

The Enterprise Data Center-West can be counted among the most energy efficient data centers in the U.S., FedEx said, due to green design features such as variable frequency drives that can fine-tune the amount of power used according to demand.

The data center’s power usage effectiveness (PUE) ratio – the amount of electricity need to power auxiliary systems such as cooling and lights versus the amount needed to run the computing systems – is an average of 1.28. The Uptime Institute says a typical data center has an average PUE of 2.5, and a ratio of 1.0 indicates perfect efficiency.

The data center has multiple redundancies to maintain constant power availability, FedEx said. The building is connected to two separate utility sub-stations, and nearly 2,000 batteries can keep the center running at full load, long enough to allow eight onsite generators time to power up.

The initial phase of construction on the building was completed in 2008, but the company then upgraded the data center infrastructure and added 26,000 sq ft. During construction, crews diverted over three quarters of the construction waste from landfills. Nearly 11 percent of the building products were regionally produced and more than 14 percent contain recycled content, FedEx said.

FedEx says the building will benefit from more than 5,000 hours of “free cooling” per year due to the climate in Colorado Springs. It plans to move core systems and applications from its customer technology center in Memphis to Colorado Springs over the next three years.

FedEx has applied for LEED certification of the building. The company announced last month that it aims to secure LEED certification for all new FedEx Express facilities in the U.S.

Last April FedEx unveiled the largest solar rooftop installation in the country, a 2.42 MW array at its FedEx Ground distribution hub in Woodbridge, N.J.

It followed this in October with its second solar-powered hub for FedEx Express, this time at Cologne Bonn Airport in Germany.

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