IO has announced an innovative program to provide customers with data center capacity powered by 100% renewable energy. Under an agreement with utility provider Arizona Public Service, customers in IO’s Arizona data centers can purchase 100% renewable energy for their data center operations.
This sustainability initiative comes as part of a broader effort by IO to encourage greener data center practices and engage utilities, vendors and elected officials to enable procurement of renewable energy.
“There is a clear call by our customers to use cost-effective clean energy to power their data centers,” said Anthony Wanger, president at IO. “By aggregating the energy use of our customers, IO applies scale efficiencies to data center operations and renewable energy procurement. Our goal is to provide our customers with the best available options for reliable, renewable and affordable energy. This arrangement with APS represents a great option for our customers, which is not available at other data centers in the State.”
Through this new agreement, customers can opt in to receive access to clean power generated by wind and solar plants at an incremental cost. The new rate provides both access to renewable energy and price certainty, which has financial benefits for IO and hundreds of its customers.
“IO customers already reside in one of the most energy efficient data centers available and now have the option to make greener decisions about energy they consume and how it is produced,” said Patrick Flynn, group leader of sustainability at IO. “The IO team is committed to leveraging our scale to help the industry realize gains where economic and environmental goals intersect. We expect this will result in greater adoption of more sustainable practices in the data center industry.”
An evaluation by APS showed that a modular data center technology installation in IO’s Phoenix facility has achieved 19% energy cost savings quantified by its improved Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) ratings. APS findings confirmed that IO’s manufactured, modular approach is more efficient than the traditional raised-floor data center environment.
Since its inception in 2007, IO has been one of APS’s largest and fastest growing customers. Further, IO has a very high load factor (due to its predictable and consistent load), which helps APS plan capacity allocation and operate more optimally.
Given IO’s need for high reliability and power quality, the cost of electricity is a material component of IO’s cost to operate its business. The long-term contract negotiated by APS and IO provides a flat power rate allowing IO to compete with other service territories.
“IO has been one of APS’s most innovative customers from the beginning, designing efficient systems and taking advantage of our Solutions for Business energy efficiency program,” said Stacy Derstine, APS vice president and chief customer officer. “Together we crafted an innovative rate structure that better aligns the price that IO will pay to the cost that APS incurs to serve them.”
Derstine added, “This agreement is a critical means of economic development for Arizona. It allows APS to retain IO’s present load, which translates into a substantial amount of revenue for the State. Beyond a pure price benefit, the agreement also opens up renewable energy options for IO and its customers. We hope this new rate will help attract additional high load factor customers to Arizona, for the benefit of all ratepayers.”