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Recovery Act Funds Awarded for Data Center Efficiency Research

January 2010 - Data Centers

The Department of Energy (DOE) is awarding $47 million for 14 projects across the U.S. to support the development of new technologies that can improve energy efficiency in the information technology and communication technology sectors.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is providing funding for research, development and demonstration projects in three subject areas. Projects may include aspects of more than one topic area.
Equipment and Software – These projects will focus on the core components of a data or telecommunications center, such as servers and networking devices as well as software to optimize equipment energy use.
Power Supply Chain – These projects will develop technologies to minimize the power loss and heat generation that occurs as electricity moves through the growing number of server-based IT and communications systems.
Cooling – This effort will seek to demonstrate ways to cool the equipment used in IT and telecommunications work more effectively and with less power than current methods.

The $47 million in federal funds for these projects will be matched by more than $70 million in private industry funding, for a total project value of more than $115 million, according to DOE.

Information technology and telecommunications facilities account for approximately 120 billion kilowatt hours of electricity annually – or 3 percent of all U.S. electricity use, according to DOE. Rapid growth in the U.S. data center industry is projected to require two new large power plants per year just to keep pace with the expected demand growth.  Without gains in efficiency, the industry would face increasing costs and greenhouse gas emissions, along with challenges to the reliability of the electricity service.

Each project selected promises significant reductions in energy consumed by information technology and communications systems. The projects that have been selected for awards include:

Equipment & Software Projects
IBM T.J. Watson Research Center ($1.6 million)
SeaMicro Inc. ($9.3 million)
Alcatel-Lucent, Bell Labs ($300,000)
California Institute of Technology ($300,000)

Power Supply Chain Projects
Lineage Power Corporation ($2.4 million)
BAE Systems ($222,000)
Power Assure, Inc. ($5 million)
Hewlett-Packard Company ($7.4 million)
Columbia University ($2.8 million)

IBM T.J. Watson Research Center ($2.3 million)
Federspiel Controls, Inc. ($584,000)
Yahoo! Inc. ($9.9 million)
Alcatel-Lucent ($1.8 million)
Edison Materials Technology Center ($2.8 million)


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