Bloom Energy hires HP exec, expands data center energy focus

Bloom Energy hires HP exec, expands data center energy focus

Summary: Maverick fuel-cell technology company sees opportunity to serve businesses worried about the devastating impact of grid power outages.

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It was just two years ago that fuel cell energy "server" company Bloom Energy had a big-time coming out party on "Sixty Minutes" for its Bloom Box, an approach to creating energy. Since then, the company has announced some pretty compelling installations, often for companies seeking an alternate, off-the-grid fuel source for their data centers.

Now, Bloom Energy is heightening that focus on data center installations: the company has hired Peter Gross, the cofounder and CEO of the Hewlett-Packard EYP Mission Critical Facilities consulting practice to lead the Bloom Energy drive into what it is calling "data center security."

This is security in the sense that Bloom Energy is seeking to make data centers secure from grid outages. The company points to 18 major grid outages from extreme weather events in the past 10 years as the primary motivation for its new initiative.

"Bloom Energy will now fill a critical need in the data center industry," said Gross in a statement. "By providing a reliable, clean and stable energy source that is immune to disruptions to the grid, Bloom will help its customers reduce their security risks considerably, while at the same time improving efficiency and cutting greenhouse gas emissions."

The Bloom Energy Server technology is a solid oxide fuel cell that produces energy through an electro-chemical reaction, a process that produces fewer emissions than those usually associated with the traditional electrical grid. Often, companies using Bloom servers are using natural gas to run them. They can also run on renewable biogas. NTT is an example of a company that is using the technology to cut electricity costs its data centers.

Related stories: AT&T is latest big-name customer for Bloom Energy fuel cells Distributed computing works, why not distributed energy? NTT jumps on Bloom Energy fuel-cell bandwagon

Topics: Hewlett-Packard, CXO, Data Centers, Hardware, Storage

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