Equinix’s commitment to energy efficiency reached new heights today as we opened our first data center on the sun. Equinix’s SU1 facility is 100% powered by a solar panel array whose proximity to the sun makes it so efficient, it’s able to generate enough energy to easily cool onsite IT equipment, even when the outside temperature reaches 27 million degrees.
The revolutionary cooling system, named the “No Tiene Sentido System,” by the team of Global Solutions Architects in Los Angeles that created it, helps demonstrate the power of alternative energy sources. It was also completed a full four years ahead of predictions in a landmark 2013 study by the Le Pew Research Center.
“SU1 establishes access to a vibrant new market that will serve our customers throughout the sun’s remaining 5 billion-year lifespan,” said Jim Poole, Equinix’s Vice President of Ecosystem Development.
Project manager Rick Holt explained that SU1, which offers 210,000 square feet of colocation space, is built on a hyper-dense and compacted foundation of “insulated metalized Mylar double foil bubble wrap” – the same material used in the windshield shades that keep parked cars cool.
Holt also said that staff recruiting for the out-of-the-way data center got
a boost because the heaviest hiring period was right after the winter of 2015, which was particularly tough in several regions of North America.
Facility engineer Jessica Landry said she gladly made the 93 million mile move from Equinix’s Boston International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data center, because last winter, “I felt like I was stuck in an episode of ‘Fargo,’ without all the murders.”
Landry added, “I thought about just applying for a position in a warmer climate like Sao Paulo, but after last winter, anything inside the Earth’s atmosphere seemed too risky.”
Landry said the staff bonded quickly, and on the Casual Friday before the launch, everyone wore “We’re SU1 and We’re Hot” T-Shirts that Customer Service Manager Katrinna Sauer had made up for the team.
“There’s a real camaraderie,” Landry said. “Everybody is just having a good time, doing our jobs and sweating profusely.”
Customer uptake at SU1 has been exceptionally strong, as companies are eager to take advantage of clean power priced well below market rates. Sales engineer Rob Maxwell said that customers and prospects are always welcome for site visits, but said application of heavy-duty sun screen is mandatory on all tours.
“I know they say anything over SPF 15 is a waste, but I get pink just strolling across the catwalk if I wear anything less than SPF 50 up here,” he said.
This is obviously an April Fools’ Day post but the idea that Equinix will go wherever our customers need interconnection is no joke. During the last year, our Bit-isle and Telecity acquisitions increased our presence in Japan and Europe and we’re expanding in four additional markets in 2016. When the year ends, we’ll be operating nearly 150 data centers in 40 markets.
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