Equinix to power Silicon Valley data center with Bloom Energy fuel cell

The fuel cell project is part of Equinix's overall goal to power its global network of data centers with 100 percent renewable energy.

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Datacenter and cloud exchange provider Equinix took a big green step today, announcing the launch of a biogas fuel cell project at its Silicon Valley data center, the SV5 IBX.

The fuel cell project is in partnership with Bloom Energy, a clean tech provider specializing in on-site power generation systems, and is part of Equinix's overall goal to power its global network of data centers with 100 percent renewable energy.

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Equinix will power a portion of the SV5 data center with a Bloom-built one-megawatt fuel cell, which is powered with biogas and produces only water and a small amount of carbon dioxide as by-products.

Biogas is becoming a widely used alternative to natural gas, which is also a clean option but still a fossil fuel. It is captured from decomposing organic matter, such as landfills or animal waste.

Equinix estimates that the fuel cell will provide 8.3 million kilowatt hours of clean electricity per year and reduce CO2 emissions to near zero.

Equinix's clean energy efforts are reflective of a larger trend in the tech community. Industry giants such as Facebook, Apple and Google have made strides to use renewable energy to power their data centers.

There are some notable holdouts, however. Environmentalists have been critical of Amazon and Oracle for not utilizing clean energy practices in their data centers.

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