Bloom’s data center sweet spot

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Good morning, Things have been very quiet at Bloom Energy.

After all, the company rarely toots its own horn, with most of the local attention paid to the fact that the company has fallen far short of employment projections in Delaware.

The plant also came with a controversial electricity deal adding to bills of Delmarva Power customers as natural gas and solar costs drop.

Meanwhile, low-key Bloom continues to turn out natural gas-powered fuel cells with its sweet spot appearing to come in data centers as shown from news released back in August

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At that time, it was announced that Equinix, Inc., a data center company, signed a 15-year deal with a subsidiary of electric utility giant Southern Company. Bloom Energy fuel cells, for the most part, assembled in Newark, will be installed at 12 International Business Exchange data centers in California.

The project will provide a total capacity of more than 37 megawatts of power with a phased installation that begins in late 2017 through 2019.

The new project will install fuel cells at seven Equinix IBX data centers in the Silicon Valley, three in the New York area and two in the Los Angeles area. The two states provide incentives for fuel cells.

The project is financed through Southern Company as part of a strategic partnership between Bloom Energy and the utility.

The new project will bring Equinix to a total of more than 40 megawatts of fuel cell provisioned power at 15 locations. By contrast, reports indicate the company’s fuel cells in Delaware under the Delmarva deal generate around 30 megawatts.

As of 2016, Equinix had achieved 56 percent renewable energy coverage worldwide. In addition to the fuel cell initiatives, Equinix is also engaged in agreementsfor wind energy from Oklahoma and Texas, providing a total of 225 megawatts of capacity.

Data centers are large consumers of electricity and their always-on status of Bloom Boxes lessens the strain on the grid.

Your thoughts, tips and ideas are always appreciated. If this newsletter was passed along, click here to subscribe at no charge. – Doug Rainey, Publisher

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Delaware Business Now is a four-year-old, five-day-a-week newsletter and website operated by Bird Street Media LLC. Publisher and Chief Content Officer is Doug Rainey, a 30-year veteran of business journalism in the state of Delaware. 

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