Sponsored by George Fox University
Home Back Issues August 2010 Google's secret thirst for power

Google's secret thirst for power

| Print |  Email
Articles - August 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010

 

0810_ATS09
SOURCE: NORTHERNWASCO COUNTY PUBLIC UTILITY DISTRICT

How much electricity does Google use to power its servers in The Dalles?

You’ll never find out from employees of the search engine giant or from the utility officials who sell them the power, all sworn to secrecy through nondisclosure agreements. Nor will you find the answer within the frequently asked questions section of Google’s web page for its Oregon data center.

For five years Google has remained mum on how much energy the data center uses, even as the facility has made headlines on the front page of The New York Times and raised the ire of Harper’s magazine in a March 2008 article titled “Key Word: Evil.” Oregon Business examined Google’s power usage in June but couldn’t get specifics.

But the operating reports of the Northern Wasco County PUD tell the story that Google will not. In pre-Google 2005, the PUD sold 242.4 million kilowatt-hours of electricity for $13.3 million. In post-Google 2009, the PUD sold more than twice as much energy, 592.4 million kilowatt-hours for $26.1 million.

Coincidence?

Highly unlikely. One of the subcategories in the PUD’s monthly and annual reports is for primary service customers. In pre-Google 2005 there were five unidentified customers. In post-Google 2006-2009, there were six. Whoever it was, that new, unnamed customer certainly improved the PUD’s bottom line. Primary service sales jumped from $1.4 million for five customers in 2005 to $13.8 million for six customers in 2009. The Wasco PUD’s primary service category has grown larger than total revenues were in 2005.

Using good old-fashioned arithmetic, Google spends about $12.4 million per year on about 330 million kilowatt-hours of energy in The Dalles. That’s enough to power 33,000 homes, or roughly three cities the size of The Dalles.

BEN JACKLET
 

Comments   

 
John
0 #1 And?John 2010-08-03 13:29:45
The point is?
Quote | Report to administrator
 
 
Charlcie
0 #2 Why not?Charlcie 2010-08-04 09:41:59
Makes you wonder why they wouldn't say how much power they use.
Good research, Ben.
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

100 Best Green Companies Keynote Speech

News
Friday, May 30, 2014

green2014-069Watch the 2014 100 Best Green Companies keynote speech by Eric Friedenwald-Fishman.


Read more...

OB Video: Oregon MESA

News
Thursday, June 26, 2014

ThumbOregon Business hosts an informal roundtable discussion about the Oregon MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement) program.


Read more...

OB Video: Building trade ties with the EU

News
Monday, June 16, 2014
BritEmbCampionBY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

The Oregon economy could get a boost from a new trade agreement being negotiated between the U.S. and the European Union.


Read more...

South Waterfront's revenge

News
Thursday, July 24, 2014
MoodyAveBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Remember the naysayers?  Those who called the South Waterfront aerial tram a boondoggle?  Those who rejoiced at the massive sell off of luxury condos at the John Ross and Atwater Place?


Read more...

Q&A: David Lively of Organically Grown Co.

News
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
OGCLogoBY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER

Demand for organic food continues to soar: Last year, sales of organic food rose to $32.3 billion — up 10% from 2012. In Oregon, organic produce wholesaler Organically Grown Co. has been championing organic growing methods for four decades.


Read more...

Understanding Oregon medical marijuana dispensary tenants

News
Friday, June 13, 2014
061314 thumb grassrentBY CLIFF HOCKLEY | OB GUEST BLOGGER

This article summarizes the key considerations a building owner must keep in mind when thinking about leasing to a medical marijuana dispensary.


Read more...

EPA Standards: A breath of fresh air for the region

News
Thursday, June 12, 2014
EPABY ANDREA DURBIN | OB GUEST BLOGGER

Last week, the Obama administration took an important and welcomed step in the effort to protect the health and well-being of all Oregonians by limiting carbon pollution from existing power plants.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS