Sabey Data Centers has announced that its Intergate.Quincy facility in Central Washington has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2017 Energy Star certification with a score of 100 points, the EPA’s highest possible green energy performance mark.

“This certification confirms Sabey’s leadership role in energy-saving, efficient data center design, construction and operation. We are committed to building the best facilities for our customers’ IT requirements and for the environment,” said Rob Rockwood, president, Sabey Data Centers.

The Energy Star certification signifies that an industrial facility performs in the top 25% of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency and meets strict energy efficiency performance levels set by the EPA. Intergate.Quincy sets a higher standard. In operation for just one year, the facility’s Building A 100-point certification for 2017 follows its on-campus sister Building C’s Energy Star 100-point certification in 2015 and 2016 and its 99-point score for 2017.

An efficiency performance rating of 100 is the highest level of power consumption efficiency and represents twice the national average for data centers, according to Energy Star.

Intergate.Quincy’s energy intensity, or the amount of energy the data center consumes, is 33% below the national average, according to the EPA’s Statement of Energy Performance for the facility.

On average, 87% of all the energy used at Intergate.Quincy directly powers its computing operations. Apart from IT load, cooling is the largest driver of electrical power in data centers. The dry ambient air in Central Washington lends itself to evaporative cooling in order to achieve cooling efficiency. As a result, mechanical costs are lowered by as much as 70%, dramatically increasing the number of free cooling hours. For more than 95% of the year in Central Washington, the combination of nature and engineering can make mechanical cooling unnecessary, while still meeting ASHRAE TC9.9’s recommended temperature range for IT equipment.

“Intergate.Quincy continues to demonstrate true environmental leadership by reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions that are proven to contribute to climate change,” stated Jean Lupinacci, Energy Star director for Commercial & Industrial Buildings. “Today, 45% of U.S. emissions are attributable to commercial and industrial buildings, which is why improving energy efficiency is so critical for our future.”

“It’s no small accomplishment to get a 100 score in the very first year of operation. During the EPA’s measurement period, we were not yet operating at peak efficiency because of relatively light tenant loads. We expect to run the facility even more efficiently next year, as our customers add load,” said Rockwood.

“Energy efficiency can also be cost effective. It allows us to offer competitive rates to our customers by passing through the energy savings, and we do this in an area with the lowest electricity cost in the nation,” he added.

Building A is the second data center building in the company’s master plan for the 40-acre Intergate.Quincy campus. The new, 135,280-sq-ft facility, adjoins the similarly sized Building C, which is now fully leased. The Intergate.Quincy master plan also calls for a third building to complete a total of 405,000 sq ft of data center space.

“Scoring 100% is only done with a team mindset of operating very efficiently. This means every member looks at our spaces for areas to save energy. Most of this is represented in very tight containment and fine tuning the air handling unit (AHU) controls to use the least amount of fan energy. Our customer relationships allow us to have containment conversations when we find areas that need improvement,” said Cris Engel, director of operations, Sabey Data Centers.

Electrical power in Grant and Douglas Counties in Central Washington is provided primarily from hydroelectric dams on the Columbia River. This source of power drives the lowest power rates in the United States. As of today, the average power rate in Quincy is $.0265/kWh. Based on an annual use of at 1 MW, the annual cost of power at Intergate.Quincy is about $264,000, approximately one quarter the cost for the same amount of power in San Francisco.