Two years ago, Equinix added a fuel cell option to its SV5 data center in Silicon Valley, via a lone deployment of technology from Bloom Energy. They must have liked how it worked out, because yesterday they revealed an expansion of the project to twelve facilities on both coasts.
Bloom's fuel cells will use a solid oxide technology and an electrochemical process to convert biogas into electricity, thus making the electricity they produce 100% renewable as well as releasing 15% less carbon dioxide as would be associated with using power from the local grid. Equinix has signed a 15 year power purchase agreement with a subsidiary of the energy utility Southern Company, which is helping finance the project.
On the list for new fuel cells are seven of Equinix's Silicon Valley facilities (SV1-6, SV10), three of its NYC facilities (NY2,4,5) and two of its Los Angeles facilities (LA3,4). In addition, two facilities recently acquired from Verizon (LA7 and NY13) already have Bloom fuel cells in place. The full set of deployments will produce some 40MW of power once all phases are built out over the next two years or so.