Infomart Data Centers has announced a new Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Noble Americas Energy Solutions to purchase electricity sourced from Pacific Northwest-based federal power agency Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) for its Portland data center. Enabled by Infomart’s recent approval from Portland General Electric (PGE) to become a Direct Access (DA) customer, Infomart sources power from BPA, which is among the largest suppliers of hydroelectric power in the U.S. and boasts one of the lowest carbon footprints in the country.

As a Direct Access customer, Infomart Data Centers is able to choose the energy mix and energy suppliers for its Portland data center, while remaining a power distribution service customer of PGE. The BPA system power being purchased has an emission factor currently equal to 0.0195 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions (CO2e) per megawatt hour (Mwh) according to the California Air Resources Board, 96% less than the U.S. average of 0.5157 metric tons of CO2e per MWh reported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  Direct Access enables Infomart to procure electricity at market rates, which are typically below traditional utility tariffs — a critical advantage for customers with energy-intensive data center requirements.

“Direct Access is about having more choices. We place great value on the freedom to make our own energy resource decisions, which is why we prefer to develop data centers in areas with open and competitive energy markets. We purposely sought the Direct Access right with the intent to source low-carbon power for our Portland facility,” says John Sheputis, president of Infomart Data Centers. “Our tenants value sustainability, and now, with no additional effort on their part, we’ve helped them achieve that goal at rates historically below traditional utility tariffs. It is the latest example of the Company’s commitment to environmental stewardship and being the leader in sustainable IT operations.”

BPA promotes energy efficiency, renewable resources and new technologies. It markets wholesale electrical power from 31 federal hydro projects throughout the Columbia River Basin and several other small nonfederal power plants. The Columbia River Basin provides 44 percent of the total hydroelectric generating capacity in the U.S., and BPA transports and markets nearly 70% of the electricity generated by these facilities.

Following a 16 MW and 100,000-sq-ft expansion that will be finalized in mid-summer 2016, bringing the facility to a total of 24 MW and 340,000 sq ft, Infomart Portland will be the largest merchant data center in Oregon and one of the largest on the U.S. West Coast. In addition to helping tenants lower overall energy consumption and realize sustainable IT operations, Infomart Portland operates at an industry-leading Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) rating of 1.16 in full economization mode. The facility also features abundant domestic and trans-Pacific network choices, an absence of sales taxes for purchases used in Oregon, and additional Enterprise Zone property tax benefits.

With the designation of low-carbon power for the facility, Infomart Portland is on its way to creating the most sustainable IT operation in the country.