1 December 2014 by Max Smolaks
NTT Communications subsidiary Netmagic has successfully used wind energy to power the first LEED Gold certified data center in India, located in Chennai.
Chennai, the capital of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, is known for its industrial prowess - but also for its unreliable power grid.
About a year ago, as capacity was stretched to its limits, the local government introduced new rules that limited power use during evenings, with fines for non-compliance. This prompted many data centers to use diesel generator sets – a fairly expensive means to supply servers with electricity.
The high cost of fuel and frequent power outages prompted Netmagic to look for alternatives. "The most cost-effective energy source for a data center can be either wind energy or a gas based power plant," explained executive director and president Sunil Gupta.
The company negotiated a deal with InterOcean, an Indian shipping company which has recently diversified into wind power, and now operates ten wind farms in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Gujarat.
As a result, the energy for the Chennai data center worked out to be 11-13 percent cheaper than the power provided by the state utility, and almost half the cost of energy from a diesel generator.
The success of the scheme has inspired Netmagic to consider the same approach in its latest ‘mega data center’ in Electronic City, Bangalore – a facility that offers 110,000 sq ft of raised floor space.
And it’s not the only company to recognize renewable energy as the way forward - Zoho Corporation, the developer of cloud-based enterprise software, is building a facility in Chennai that will feature a small wind farm on-site. It is expected to become operational by March 2015.