FedEx’s First Green Data Center Opens

It takes a lot of processing power to keep track of all FedEx’s shipments, and a lot of energy, too. It appears now the company is seeking to reduce the carbon footprint and costs associated with its computing via a new green data center, located adjacent to the FedEx Rocky Mountain Tech Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The Enterprise Data Center-West (EDC-W)–FedEx’s first green data center–is currently LEED-registered. Whatever level of certification the building eventually receives will be an accomplishment, considering the fact that facilities such as this are notorious energy-hogs, largely because the many computers they house must be kept cool to function properly.

FedEx Tech Center

image via FedEx Corp.

To meet this challenge in an energy-efficient way, the EDC-W was constructed with a range of redundant mechanical and electrical systems such as variable frequency drives, which can fine-tune the amount of power consumed according to the level of demand.

One method of measuring the eco-cred of such data centers is in terms of their power usage effectiveness (PUE) ratio–i.e., the amount of electricity needed to power the cooling systems, lights, etc. versus the amount of electricity used to run the computing environment. FedEx reports that, according to the Uptime Institute, the typical data center has an average PUE of 2.5, while the EDC-W’s PUE is 1.28, just over a quarter of a point away from perfect efficiency.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.