UCSD Joins Consortium to Reduce Energy Use at Data Centers

UC San Diego, which has implemented a wide range of energy-reducing initiatives across all levels of campus operations, has joined The Green Grid, a global consortium of companies dedicated to advancing energy efficiency in data centers and computing ecosystems.

Membership in The Green Grid complements and underscores the university’s commitment to environmentally sound and power-efficient practices, including efforts at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC), the largest data center on the UC San Diego campus.

SDSC, a national-level supercomputer center funded by the National Science Foundation and UCSD, is currently undergoing a “green” building expansion featuring a host of energy-saving designs, materials and practices, all intended to put the data center at the leading edge of operational efficiency. The 80,000 square-foot building, to open next year, earned the 2005 Best Practices Award for innovative heating, ventilation and air conditioning design from the Higher Education Energy Partnership.

“The San Diego Supercomputer Center is an excellent example of how we must take a holistic approach to energy savings, by combining all the efficiencies of ‘green’ building design and technology with selecting and running the most efficient IT systems,” said Steven Relyea, UCSD’s vice chancellor for business affairs. “A significant portion of the university’s overall operations budget goes to energy costs such as heating and cooling. The SDSC expansion project has given us a new level of energy-saving expertise that we are actively applying to other projects across the entire campus.”

Joining The Green Grid will also enable UCSD researchers, engineers, students, faculty and staff to share and learn new energy-saving practices with consortium members, which includes a wide range of IT companies and end-users.

“We’re looking forward to participating in the wealth of programs that this consortium is focusing on, such as research, standards and best practice guides, and continuing education,” said Relyea. “By becoming a member of The Green Grid, we hope that other academic institutions will join the consortium so that universities everywhere can benefit from this exchange of innovative ideas and solutions.”

Long recognized for its pioneering research in global climate change, UCSD has also made impressive achievements in energy efficient building construction and maintenance, electricity generation and alternative transportation.

* UCSD operates one of the largest and most efficient University-owned cogeneration plants in the state, which supplies approximately 90% of the campus’ electricity. The plant also produces 75% less smog emissions than conventional natural gas power plants.

* UCSD has been installing solar energy (photovoltaic) systems on building rooftops. Campus engineers have also procured solar energy systems for two major campus buildings and have identified roof space for at least 1 Megawatt of solar power modules.

To reduce greenhouse gases, UCSD provides a full range of transportation alternatives to students, staff and faculty. Currently, 42% of all commuters to UCSD use some form of alternative transportation, including bikes, train, buses or vanpools. The campus has also added 225 electric, zero-emission vehicles to its fleet, eliminating high-emission gas burning vehicles from the campus.

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