- Bloom Energy Cells will be installed at 12 Equinix data centers in North America, supplying 37 MW of capacity under 15-year power purchase agreements, the companies announced this week.
- The project is financed by Southern Company, and is part of a partnership with Bloom to support on-site fuel cell deployments that was announced last year.
- According to Equinix, it is the largest deployment of fuel cells for the colocation data center industry to date. The installations begin this year and stretch through 2019.
Last October, Southern subsidiary Powersecure announced a partnership with Bloom to secure 50 MW of distributed fuel cells under long-term power purchase agreements. This announcement with Equinix marks the first major project to come out of that agreement.
Southern Chairman, President and CEO Tom Fanning said the company's strategic partnership with Bloom was established to deliver innovative energy solutions directly on the customer's site. The project "further demonstrates that this approach is meeting the smart energy demands of today's leading companies," he said in a statement.
Once operational, the Equinix fuel cell project will provide power that is up to 45% percent cleaner than the equivalent utility-provided gas-powered generation. The project, over its lifetime, will avoid 660,000 tons of carbon emissions and save 87 billion gallons of water that would have been used by power plants. It will also relieve day-to-day stress on local utility providers, the companies said, helping to delay new utility generation.
This is not Equinix's first experience with Bloom fuel cells. Greentech Media spoke with David Rinard, Equinix senior director of global sustainability and strategic sourcing, who said a 1 MW fuel cell project at a data center had exceeded their expectations, both from an efficiency and financial perspective.
Bloom founder and CEO KR Sridhar said in a statement that "there is no greater compliment and validation of our energy platform than to have our existing customers continue to expand their deployments."