2019 Data Center Energy Efficiency Grant Program Now Open
By Rory Spangler
MEA Program Manager
The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) announces the launch of the Data Center Energy Efficiency Grant Program (DCEEG). This first of its kind in the country grant is now entering a third cycle and is designed to support Maryland’s robust and growing information technology sector. The DCEEG provides funding on a competitive basis to encourage the implementation of cost-effective energy efficiency technologies in data centers throughout the State.
Successful projects must result in the reduction of energy usage within a data center through cost-effective energy efficiency measures. The competitive Pilot Program is open to any commercial or state/local government data center located within the State of Maryland with an overall facility size of at least 2,000 square feet. Grant awards will range from $20,000 to $200,000 per eligible project, subject to funding availability. Grants are designed to cover up to 50% of the net customer cost (up to $200,000) for innovative and cost-effective energy efficiency solutions. Eligible efficiency measures include (but are not limited to) server virtualization, air flow optimization, aisle containment, lighting, controls, uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), motors and variable frequency drives, heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) upgrades, and building insulation and envelope improvements.
To date, nine data centers in Maryland have been awarded grants through the MEA’s program resulting in over 10,000 MWh of potential electricity reductions or, enough energy savings to power 1,000 homes for an entire year. The success of this program is linked to the strong partnership between the state and the data center industry. One prime example is the MEA’s collaboration with the Maryland University, the state’s largest university, to implement new technologies which improve efficiency.
“Here at the University of Maryland College Park Campus, the Division of IT, Facilities Management Department, and the University’s Center for Environmental Energy Engineering have partnered for several years now on ways to improve energy efficiency in the campus energy intensive buildings as well as data centers,” stated Don Hill, Facility Performance Group Assistant Director at the University of Maryland. Hill continued, “It was very exciting for the University to recently learn, that with assistance from the Maryland Energy Administration Data Center Energy Efficiency Grant Program (DCEEG), the University is now able to begin installation of a new replacement cooling system in one of the data centers that will reduce the HVAC energy costs at that location by over 45% versus the previous system,” finished Hill.
Applications for grants are due to MEA by 11:59 pm, December 22, 2018. Additional information about the program, including the application, can be found at http://energy.maryland.gov/business/Pages/incentives/DCEEG.aspx .