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Focus on Kaiser Permanente Data Center Energy Efficiency Upgrades

by Kaymie Owen, CMP, Communications Manager

From the left, Kaiser Permanente staff members: Steve Press, VP IT Operations, Data Center Operations, Elizabeth Burneko Executive Director IT Operations, Infrastructure Platforms & Services, Data Center Operations, Richard A. Zbin Director IT Operations, Infrastructure Platforms & Services, Data Center Operations, MEA staff: Chris Rice, Chief of Staff, David Giusti, Energy Program Manager and Eric Coffman, Programs Director

Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) Data Center Energy Efficiency Program (DCEEP) improves the energy efficiency of data centers, attracts and retains business to the state and builds public/private relationships. Maryland was the first state in the nation to offer a program to address the specific needs of data centers in 2016. This program was a finalist for a global industry innovation award just two years ago and competed alongside companies like Apple, Huawei and Microsoft.

Many people would be surprised to know that data centers use an enormous amount of energy, consuming 100 to 200 times the amount of electricity used by a standard office. Today, data centers consume about 2% of electricity worldwide but trends predict an 8% rise by 2030. Assisting local data centers to become more energy efficient translates into significant financial savings. 

For Kaiser Permanente’s Silver Spring regional data center, an MEA DCEEP grant of $200,000 is helping them realize $228,332 in annual savings. The estimated annual energy savings of this project is 1.9 million kilowatts per hour (kWh) which is enough energy to power 158 Maryland homes for an entire year. The energy savings for this project was verified by an outside contractor. 

Project upgrades consisted of replacing constant speed fans with variable speed fans in the computer room air conditioning units, updating the controls to more energy efficient models and modes and monitoring for opportunities to save energy and reduce costs. The fans are used to maintain cool temperatures in the rooms where computers and other equipment stores critical data. 

“At Kaiser Permanente, we are deeply committed to being good stewards of our resources and this includes taking steps to help protect our environment. We are happy to implement these changes at our Silver Spring Data Center that not only save dollars, but allow us to work toward a goal to become carbon neutral in 2020,” stated Michael Willis, Vice President and Business Information Officer at Kaiser Permanente. 

To view the MEA Fact Sheet on this project, click the link below
MEA Kaiser Permanente DCEEG Fact Sheet FINAL