Level 3 Takes Its Renewable Power Push East

March 9th, 2012 by · 12 Comments

Last summer, Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) put a green foot forward by moving two colocation facilities in London and another in Amsterdam onto 100% renewable power.  Apparently that went pretty well, because they added another five today a bit further to the east. 

Their five major German facilities in Berlin, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, and Munich are also now on 100% renewable energy. That lets them reduce CO2 emissions by 29,400 tons or 245,000 trees. Of course hopefully nobody actually burns trees to power data centers, that’s just a theoretical comparison. Level 3 is working with Germany’s CLENS, which is certifying the energy sources.

There’s no doubt that data centers are big energy hogs, and the push to reduce their usage of fossil fuels and such has been going on across the industry for some time and is particularly strong in Europe.  This sort of arrangement is in some senses just juggling the bookkeeping on who gets credit for which part of the overall power generated.  Whether it actually has a material impact depends on the energy utilities’ overall fuel choices is an open question in my opinion, but one has to start somewhere.

It’s interesting that Level 3 is doing this at a time when it is actively seeking integration synergies.  Apparently it must not be costing them that much to take this path, which suggests that others may follow – at least in Europe.

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Categories: Datacenter

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12 Comments So Far

  • level3 says:

    Level 3 Communications owns 51 data centers, and is a tenant in one,

    The Level 3 data centers mentioned Rob Powell’s article are listed here: http://www.datacentermap.com/company/level3_datacenters.html

  • Bill says:

    I am a Level 3 fan – but to be clear – in order to be considered a “data center” there are many factors including one that UPS power is a must. This would eliminate most of those “51” since they only have DC power….

  • CarlK says:

    Bill, you can’t be a Level 3 fan unless you eat “CROWE.” Have you eaten crow today, Bill?

    Level3, please riddle the FOOLS on this board including me, the FACTS behind why Level 3 is listing themselves as “owner” of 111 8th Avenue NYC, a prized piece of U.S. real estate when Google already purchased it?

    The picture depicted here is when WAMU, before they were stolen by JP Morgan Chase, existed as a sub tenant on the corner.


    The picture here on “Google maps” correctly shows “Chase,” aka, The House that Morgan Built, a Robber Baron to be sure, and one who usurped WAMU at GROUND ZERO, as the sub tenant on the corner.


  • Bill says:

    WTF ? CarlK – have another drink. You don’t make any sense. I never mentioned anything about Jim Crowe, but I am surprised he is still CEO of Level 3.

    Everyone knows that Google owns 111 8th, and I don’t think Level 3 ever made that claim. before Google, Taconic owned it…some of us know what we are talking about CarlK…unfortunately, you are spouting out another load of your “jibberish”

  • level3 says:

    Level 3 Communications Data Centers



  • CarlK says:

    It was my wry sense of humor only, on a drinking night, Bill. It’s good to have another Level 3 fan on board as they build this franchise into nothing less than a NY Yankee baseball dynasty!

    Level3, if you go, I go, my Big (3) Brother! 🙂

  • Anon says:

    As noted above, the L3, 1998 telco “gateways” are not data centers. They were all designed to a watts/foot density sufficient for telecom gear. The remain useful o telco carriers, etc who want to “co locate” a telecom POP with this large wholesale network.

    To contrast, data centers house servers & storage arrays. Servers (CPU) require several-fold more density than a telco POP. And this capacity must be over-provisioned to achieve desired redundancy levels (e.g., N+1, 2N).

    I believe none of the L3 POP’s are rated even Tier II by Uptime Institute. Most data centers today seek/achieve Tier III or Tier IV certification.

  • CarlK says:

    Let me see if I recall a few facts as Level 3’s POP’s, including being domiciled inside Google’s choice real estate which they paid a fortune for not too long ago without foresight, and whose other “carriers” contained therein are part of Level 3 including Looking Glass and Global Crossing cited as “alternate carriers” on the list.

    A couple of years ago, they began citing that their greater than 6M sq. feet of co-location space, was 2/3rds available for 3rd party customers, or roughly 4M sq. feet U.S. The other greater than one third real estate seemed to imply exclusive Level 3 use, i.e. NOC’s.

    They(Storey and Patel) both acknowledged their interest in upgrading those facilities to accommodate “state of the art” energy systems which would be possible with reasonable amounts–success based capex model–of investment capital that they were intent on spending.

    Just recently, we see them building a brand new data ctr. in Colombia to add to the existing one as a result of increasing demand outstripping supply.

    So, Bill and Anon are saying that Google made a foolish buy of prime real NYC estate, and won’t be able “convert” from telecom POPS to “Data Center” models?

    Are Bill and Anon also saying that Level 3’s antiquated data centers across the U.S. will not be able to cross the chasm in achieving Tier III or IV certifications, including but not limited to it being too expensive?

    Otherwise, what I am reading from you two industry brainiacs, is that, Level 3’s real estate is antiquated CRAP incapable of becoming GRADE A, prime rib or is prime choice REAL ESTATE?

  • CarlK says:

    I better clarify “Colombia” more by decoding it because I will be accused of more gibberish and nonsense by the Brain Trust of this blog, otherwise. This Colombia is not in any part of the U.S., rather it’s in South America, and will be a 3rd data center, not second before the “landing station” build is finally decided upon.


    Of course, one must consider these South American assets having been derived from the acquisition of Global Crossing before new success based capex spends like this one, to be adding to “Gross Margin” in the seamless, end to end network connections that are massively sized, scoped, and ready to scale for Level 3 owners.

    Can we get to 90 percent? Inquiring minds keep inquiring!

    At the same time, in all fairness to the Bear Case and short term time horizons they are not able to stop focusing upon, one must wonder why if things are so great in Sud America’s burgeoning middle class, that Alonzo keeps selling “valuable” stock unabated?


    There may be a good explanation; however, in that Alonzo continues to need fast capital in order to keep building the South American Villa for his family nearby Carlos Slim’s mega mansion because Slim ain’t Heavy, he’s a Level 3 Brother! 🙂

  • level3 says:

    Berkshire Hathaway is a major shareholder of DirecTV and Carlos Slim is taking control of leading pay-TV and broadband cable providers.


    Level 3 will need to build a landing station in Colombia for the billionaires IPTV to connect to metro network access, backbone, long-haul networks and data centers.

    Carlos Slim welcomes Level 3 – The Mexican market is of course not an easy one to break into.

    http://www.telecomramblings.com/2011/11/level-3-expands-south-of-th e-border/

    This is a game for the Big 3 Brothers. Only the End to End Networks deliver live HD video Direct to the IPTV screen.

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