Telehouse pledges 100% renewable power for London facility

| December 9, 2011

Data centre and telecoms facility operator Telehouse has pledged to use 100% renewable energy to power its London Docklands site.

The site, which houses the IT infrastructure of almost 500 major international organisations, will now purchase 100% of its energy from UK renewable energy provider, SmartestEnergy.

According to Telehouse, SmartestEnergy buys energy from independent generators from around the country and supplies it to its customers.

The move, according to Tokuji Mitsui, managing director of Telehouse and KDDI Europe, is part of the firm’s strategy to go green.

“The biggest challenge we face at Telehouse is to improve our energy efficiency and reduce our carbon footprint, and in order to support this challenge Telehouse has worked closely with industry leading partners and regulators. We are committed to our environmental responsibilities and continue to work to align our business strategy with our green ethics wherever possible,” he said.

“The majority of electricity supplied to us is utilised by our clients, therefore it is integral that we take on initiatives such as the 100 per cent green energy supply, which in turn benefits our customer’s credentials by reducing their carbon footprint. We intend to roll out this green partnership initiative with SmartestEnergy to all our European sites in the near future.”

What is unclear however is whether the decision to go with renewable energy will cost Telehouse any more than its current cost base, or whether any extra cost will be passed on to its customers.

One of the biggest obstacles to the adoption of renewable energy is the cost, since it typically costs more than conventional grid power. This, according to most industry experts, make renewable energy for large facilities like data centres economical infeasible unless government subsidies are involved – see our story on NTT America’s deployment of renewable energy systems at its California data centre.

Obviously, the press release can be interpreted in another way. Telehouse can source all its energy from SmartestEnergy for its own systems, but leave the choice to its customers to select its own source of power. In face the release makes clear that Telehouse London are awarded the Carbon Trust Standard, which certifies that organisations have measured, managed and reduced its carbon emissions across its OWN operations. It says nothing of the energy source that is used to power the equipment of its customers.

On the other hand, by connected to SmartestEnergy, Telehouse now have the ability to offer its customers access to renewables as well, if it is not doing so already. In fact, many data centre operators and managed hosting providers offer some kind of service for its customers to go greener, including more efficient equipment, renewable energy power, and so on.

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Category: Data centres, Green corporations, Green ICT, Renewables

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