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New eBay data centre to use Bloom Fuel Cell clean energy technology

By Adrian Bishop - 21 Jun 2012 14:11:48 GMT
New eBay data centre to use Bloom Fuel Cell clean energy technology

Bloom Fuel Cell; Credit: © Bloom Energy

Global online marketplace eBay is relying on renewable energy to power the next phase of its main data centre. The company is teaming up with on-site power generation systems specialist Bloom Energy to build the biggest non-utility clean energy fuel cell unit in America.

eBay, which has more than 100 million active users, plans to used 6MW of bloom alternative energy fuel cells as its main source of energy in the YUtah data centre.

Normally, green energy supplements mains electricity supply, but eBay is placing it at the centre of its worldwide business platform by including 20 servers from Bloom Energy. Mains will be used only as backup power.

President and CEO of eBay Inc, John Donahoe, says, "We believe the future of commerce can be greener. Technology-led innovation is changing retail and revolutionizing how people shop and pay. We also want to revolutionize how shopping is powered.

"We are embracing disruptive energy technology and designing it into our core data center energy architecture. Running our data centers primarily on reliable, renewable energy, we intend to shape a future for commerce that is more environmentally sustainable at its core."

eBay's bigger data centre in Utah is set to be fully operational by mid-2013. Each server will generate 1.75 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity every year. They are being installed just hundreds of feet from the headquarters, which almost eliminates traditional utility grid losses.

The Bloom Fuel Cell units that generate power for the site 24 hours a day, 365 days a year will replace large and costly backup generators and Uninteruptable Power Supply components that have been used only 1% of the year.

The fuel cells will be powered by biogas, an alternative to fossil fuel, that is produced from renewable organic waste.

bloom energy

Credit: © Bloom Energy

The Bloom Servers will power millions of transactions by eBay's users, which generates more than $69 billion in sales volume each year. It also will power activity across eBay's other business platforms, such as payment provider PayPal and ticket agent StubHub.

Principal Co-Founder and CEO of Bloom Energy, KR Sridhar, says eBay is taking a lead in the industry and using 21st century infrastructure for today's industry needs and Bloom Energy is thrilled to be involved in such an innovative and inspiring project.

The new Bloom Energy project is eBay's largest renewable energy installation. It also runs a 650 kilowatt (kW) solar array and 500 kW Bloom fuel cell installation at its San Jose headquarters, plus a 100 kW solar array at its data center in Denver.

In April, eBay installed a 665 kW, 72,000 square feet solar array on top of its existing LEED® certified data center in Utah.

In addition to the existing LEED certified data center in South Jordan and a new customer service center planned to LEED standards in Draper, eBay played a central role in senate legislation allowing non-utility energy consumers to buy and transmit power directly from renewable energy developers.

eBay Inc was founded in 1995 in San Jose, California.

Bloom Energy's unique on-site power generation systems use an innovative new fuel cell technology with roots in NASA's Mars program. Derived from a common sand-like powder, its technology is able to produce clean, reliable, affordable power from renewable or traditional fuels.

Its 'Energy Servers' are among the most efficient anywhere, providing reduced electricity costs and dramatically lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Bloom Energy was founded in 2001 and is based in Sunnyvale, California.

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Topics: Renewable Energy