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Maryland Offers Unique Energy Savings Opportunity to the IT Sector

By Rory Spangler, Energy Program Manager

In one second there are 6,000 tweets sent, 822 Instagram photos uploaded, and 72,000 videos streamed on YouTube accounting for nearly 52,000 GB of Internet traffic…every second! All of those tweets, photos, and videos are stored and transferred in Data Centers throughout the world and these Data Centers use an enormous amount of energy, consuming 100 to 200 times the electricity of a standard office space. In 2013, the US used 91 billion kilowatt hours of energy to run data centers, equivalent to the energy output of 34 large coal fired power plants. Compared to a traditional office environment, data centers run 24 hours a day, 365 days per year making sure your files, music, and streaming videos are available whenever and wherever you may access them.

In 2016 the Maryland Energy Administration launched an effort to make our increasing internet usage more energy efficient by encouraging Maryland Data Centers to implement innovative new measures to reduce their energy usage. Our Data Center Energy Efficiency Grant Program (DCEEG), supports the robust and growing information technology (IT) sector within Maryland by providing grants to encourage cost effective energy efficiency technology implementation. This program is the first of its kind incentive in the country, offered by a State Energy Agency. This program can yield immediate savings for participants. In the first year of the program, one grantee was able to save 50% on their energy costs by implementing simple yet innovative measures to control air flow, reduce cooling costs and take advantage of Maryland’s more than 250 days of free cooling by using outside air instead of conditioned air. Additionally, the program funds enabled the grantee to reduce equipment, freeing up a large portion of their floor space. This newly found floor space can now be rented out for new servers which is a brand-new revenue stream and allows this Maryland company to keep up with the fast paced growth of today’s wired world. Applications for this round of program are due February 1, 2018 and grants are available up to $200,000 per project.

Click the link below for applications