Making data centers environmentally friendly has been an rapidly rising theme in both the US and Europe over the past year or two. Today Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) took a solid swing at decreasing its carbon footprint, announcing that two of its colocation facilities in London and one across the English Channel in Amsterdam are now 100% powered by renewable sources.
That doesn’t mean they’ve put in their own solar plant or whatever, it just means they have receved certifications from the energy utilities in both countries stating that the power they get comes from the likes of wind, hydroelectric, and solar. In other words, they get credit for it but whether or not the overall contribution from renewable energy goes up depends on the energy utility’s actual overall generation. But you have to start somewhere, right?
The energy question has been pushing data center innovation to new heights, with projects like NTT America’s biogas project in San Jose and the hydrothermal powered colocation angle behind the planned Emerald Atlantis cable amongst the more recent items. Level 3’s move is a bit more mundane in terms of new technology, but it’s also for 100% of the power needs in three major European facilities rather than a trial or token move.
Level 3 hopes soon to be busy integrating the Global Crossing assets and talent, as it is still awaiting regulatory approvals. That integration will no doubt have additional energy-related implications – including in those London and Amsterdam facilities mentioned today.
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