The annual Earth Hour challenge to cut energy use to a bare minimum for the good of the planet is especially difficult in the power-hungry data centres that are essential to most organizations, but Cogeco Data Services has developed an Earth-friendly solution.

Cogeco Data Services, a full service data communications provider, has developed an innovative system capable of maintaining operations for its entire facility without relying on traditional power generation. During Earth Hour, from 8:30 pm – 9:30 pm on Saturday, March 27, Cogeco Data will disconnect from the electrical grid and generate its own clean power using its natural gas generator.

The generator allows Cogeco Data Services to power its entire co-location facility using clean burning natural gas – a power source that produces up to 45% less carbon emissions than oil and coal burning power generation (17% of the total electricity generation in Canada can be attributed to the combustion of coal or oil).

By disconnecting from the electrical grid during Earth Hour, Cogeco Data Services will ease demand on the system and reduce electrical consumption within the City of Toronto by up to 447 KW – the equivalent of powering down 71 residential homes for 1 hour.

‘Data centres often require large amounts of power to service equipment,’ says Virginia Brailey, Vice President, Marketing, Cogeco Data Services. ‘It is up to the IT industry to develop innovative ways to accommodate this need in an environmentally responsible way.’

Cogeco Data Services’ Earth Hour initiative and the unique energy saving features of its data centre – including raised interstitial flooring and motion sensitive lighting – are intended to reduce the facility’s overall draw on the electrical system.

As an ongoing contribution to the conservation effort, motion-sensor lighting in Cogeco Data Services’ offices keep facilities dark outside of regular business hours and employees are encouraged to unplug all non-essential electronic equipment when leaving the office for the evening and weekend.

‘We are pleased to be able to participate in Earth Hour in such a unique way and look forward to contributing to the overall success of the initiative,’ said Ms. Brailey.