Energy efficiency is a key competitive differentiator for CoreSite data centers. Our customers are focused on their ‘total cost of ownership’(“TCO”) when deciding to colocate with CoreSite; market competitive, energy efficient designs are critical to our success. Efficient design and construction reduces waste, which should drive reductions in build costs, ultimately making CoreSite more competitive.
CoreSite’s data centers are a vital part of the communities they reside in, providing employment opportunities and facilitating the exchange of data that helps drives commerce and communications. Our customers and colleagues, although typically a part of large national or international business, live and work in communities near our data centers. Ensuring our data centers are built and operated efficiently reduces any negative impacts to these communities.
Our primary source of energy consumption comes from the power demand of our customers’ IT equipment and the cooling systems we control. We identify and adopt best practices for our overall data center power design, which include building automation systems, air-side economization, water-side economizers, and hot/cold aisle containment. We continuously seek opportunities to upgrade our facilities to increase operational efficiency.
Examples in 2020 included:
We recognize the crucial role renewable and alternative energy will play in balancing the immense energy needs of the data center industry, as well as our customers' interest in carbon-neutral data storage. Our NY2 data center utilizes 100% renewable energy as a result of our procurement of 100% wind-sourced Renewable Energy Credits (RECs), which cover all of the site’s usage, approximately 37,000 mWh in 2018. We’ve installed a 1.5 MW fuel cell at our SV2 site.
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We primarily use water for cooling in our data centers.Therefore, to save energy related to cooling, we must occasionally increase water usage. We are continuously working to balance our energy and water usage and seek to reduce our use of potable water. As part of our commitment to minimizing our freshwater footprint, we utilize rainwater for cooling when possible. Our water use strategy reduces our freshwater consumption and increases our operational resilience.
In May 2019, we installed a 120,000 gallon cistern at VA3that we use to reclaim all water collected on our roofs from rain events. The water collected via roof drains is passed through a four pass filter system, treated with UV lights to disinfect, and pumped into our main 260,000 gallon storage tank to be used in our cooling tower.
In April 2020, CoreSite entered into a contractual agreement with a single vendor for national waste and recycling management. The new agreement allows CoreSite to streamline all aspects of waste management from billing, to waste hauling, to process improvements. Leveraging the new agreement, CoreSite is able to gain efficiencies through intelligently utilizing equipment such as compactors and balers to lower the number of waste pickups and in effect greenhouse gas emissions from trucking.
We saw an uptick during 2020 in overall waste volume due in part to multiple construction projects as well as much better tracking by our single-sourced vendor. Overall, CoreSite recycled 122 tons and 3,856 cubic yards of material. The two different units of measure are due to some waste haulers tracking in weight and others in volume. CoreSite produced 921 tons and 8,759 cubic yards of waste and recycled 13% and 44% of such waste, respectively. The majority of the data centers’ recycling is cardboard and foam, which has a high volume and low weight relative to landfill trash.
CoreSite anticipates implementing additional changes to our waste management processes in 2021 with the help of our waste vendors. These changes are intended to streamline the waste outflow process, such as adding compactors and balers, and seeking opportunities to minimize hauling costs. We will continue work with our waste vendors to identify opportunities to increase recycling wherever feasible.
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