The search for efficient energy use is going strong in the data center market. These large properties suck up a huge amount of energy as they quietly manage the needs of the knowledge economy. However, this work can done much more efficiently with innovative uses of technology. In an effort to encourage data center firms to reduce their energy consumption, the state of Maryland is announcing a ground breaking program to grant funds to the most innovative firms.
The Data Center Energy Efficiency Grant Program (DCEEG) is a new way for the state to incentivize innovative energy use. "This program fully supports Maryland businesses by recognizing and investing in the information technology sector," said Mary Beth Tung, Maryland Energy Administration Director. The program identifies firms that apply through DCEEG and administered by the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA). The MEA then examines the application and makes a determination about the potential grant.
There are certain limitations and stipulations however. The maximum funding is $200,000 which should be at most 50% of the total cost of the upgrade. The facility must be at least 2,000 square feet and the minimum grant size is $20,000. The program application deadline is December 22, 2018.
Grants must be used for unique, innovative methods to reduce energy usage. Common applications include air flow optimization, data server virtualization techniques, aisle containment, motor and variable frequency drives, lighting automation, uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), heating and air conditioning (HVAC) improvements as well as installing building insulation.
Already nine centers have received grants with a total potential energy reduction of 10,000 MWh per year. That is equal to the output of 1,000 residential homes. The University of Maryland is the most prominent grant recipient. The school was able to reduce energy usage and costs by 45% through the DCEEG program.
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