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Ebay Taps Bloom for Fuel Cell-Powered Data Center

Internet auction site eBay is partnering with Bloom Energy as it aims to use renewable energy as the primary power source for the next phase of the company’s flagship data center.

The Utah data center will be the country’s largest non-utility fuel cell installation when completed and will only use grid electricity as a back up. The data center will feature 30 Bloom Energy fuel cell units.

The 6 MW Bloom installation will be fully functional by mid-2013, eBay says. Each of the 30 Bloom Energy servers will generate 1.75 million kWh of electricity annually, and will be installed a few hundred feet from the center itself, virtually eliminating traditional utility grid losses, eBay says. The fuel cells will be powered by biogas, a fossil fuel alternative derived from renewable organic waste.

The new Bloom Energy project will be eBay’s fifth and largest renewable energy installation. The company operates a 650 kilowatt (kW) solar array and a 500 kW Bloom fuel cell installation at its San Jose headquarters, as well as a 100 kW solar array at its Denver data center. In April of this year, the company installed a 665 kW solar array spanning 72,000 square feet atop its existing, LEED-certified Utah data center.

The new data center will become eBay’s third facility in Utah, in addition to the existing LEED-certified data center in South Jordan, Utah, and a new customer service center planned to LEED standards in Draper, Utah. The internet auction company says it played a “central role” in the development and passage of Utah Senate Bill 12, earlier this year. The legislation allows non-utility energy consumers to buy and transmit power directly from renewable energy developers.

In February, eBay announced that it had used guidelines set by nonprofit environmental IT consortium Green Grid to help build a modular data center with a power usage effectiveness ratio of 1.35. The data center in Phoenix, Ariz, recorded the PUE ratio – a measurement trademarked by the Green Grid – over the course of one week in January 2012. The center has a best-case PUE as low as 1.26 for measurements taken in that month, according to a case study released by the Green Grid.

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One thought on “Ebay Taps Bloom for Fuel Cell-Powered Data Center

  1. Interesting link about “World’s Largest Fuel Cell Park in S. Korea using USA developed Fuel Cell Technology”? Why are we not using these here for “distributed power”??? So a tree branch doesnt take down 50% of the eastern electric grid like it did in Quebec a few years back??? Where are our Congressman / Senators???
    Photo’s… copy/ paste


    Markell, PSC sued over Bloom Energy deal

    How much does Bloom Energy charge per kwh of electricity vs. Fuel Cell Energy??? Bloom is trying to subsidize their expensive fuel cells by passing the cost to customers??? Why not just use Fuel Cell Energy? Whoever is less expensive gets the deals… everyone is happy!

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