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Facebook's Oregon Data Center Uses As Much Power As Entire County 208

1sockchuck writes "The first phase of the Facebook data center in Oregon uses 28 megawatts of utility power, local officials said this week. That's not extraordinary for a facility of that size in most data center hubs. But it stands out in Crook County, Oregon where all the homes and business other than Facebook use 30 megawatts of power. The economics of Facebook's presence in Oregon are outlined in a new study, which asserts that the Prineville facility has brought tens of millions of dollars into the local economy. The second phase of the Facebook project is now underway, and the local utility grid is being expanded to add capacity." The study claiming economic benefits was commissioned by Facebook (reader beware).
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Facebook's Oregon Data Center Uses As Much Power As Entire County

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  • Crook County (Score:5, Informative)

    by dabadab ( 126782 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @06:45AM (#38875381)

    I looked it up so you don't have to: Crook County is inhabited by 20k people, its economy largely consists of agriculture and tourism so it's no wonder that they do not use massive amounts of electricity.

  • Re:Energy per user (Score:5, Informative)

    by lazy_playboy ( 236084 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @06:46AM (#38875385)

    28,000,000 / 800,000,000 = 0.035 Watts/user

  • by vlm ( 69642 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @08:53AM (#38876009)

    The most obvious comparison is its about 10 or so modern diesel electric locomotive engines, if you assume 2500 or so HP per engine, which is probably not a bad guess for your average generic engine... Spare me the anecdote that there exist like 4 Aclea Express engines in the USA that have 6000 HP, and I'm well aware coming from a three generation railroad family that there are some astounding coal haulers out there.

    There are probably more than 10 diesels in my county right now... coal plant, despite the best efforts of the govt some industry still remains, multiple short range commuter rail and also some long range commuter rail, multiple intermodal transfer stations, a small but respectable great lakes "sea"port (which is admittedly frozen in right now)

  • Re:Go the Apple way (Score:5, Informative)

    by Hadlock ( 143607 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @09:09AM (#38876083) Homepage Journal

    The FB datacenter already runs on hydro power (they're like, 30 miles from the columbia river, which generates something like 50% of the hydroelectric capacity in the US), with an average year round temp in the high 50s.

  • Re:Entire county (Score:5, Informative)

    by FrootLoops ( 1817694 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @09:14AM (#38876119)

    That's what I thought initially. The CIA World Factbook includes electricity consumption statistics [cia.gov] for many countries and regions. Note that they're listed in kWh per year; 28 MW translates to about 245,000,000 kWh per year. This puts the data center at around #174 on that list, ahead of Rwanda, Eritrea, Belize, Bhutan, Chad, and Tonga, to pick a few (though note that the data for many of those countries is a few years old, so they may have moved up). For comparison, the entire US is listed at 3,741,000,000,000 kWh per year. This data center is then around 0.007% of the US's power usage.

    Since there are something like 3000 counties [wikipedia.org] in the US, assuming uniform distribution, an average sized county would have 1/3000 = ~0.033% of the country's electricity consumption. This county then has around 7/33 ~= 21% of the average population. That average would be ~300 million / 3000 = 100,000 people per county: and indeed, Crook County, Oregon has approximately 21,000 [wikipedia.org] = 100,000 * 21% people. So actually the electricity consumption of the county appears to be quite average, even though it sounds rural from the Wikipedia page.

  • Re:Go the Apple way (Score:5, Informative)

    by afabbro ( 33948 ) on Tuesday January 31, 2012 @01:07PM (#38878871) Homepage

    Actually, that makes a lot of sense.As long as they have a fat pipe to the internet, who cares where the datacenter is.

    People on the other end of it. A "fat pipe" is only one half of the network speed equation - bandwidth. The other half is latency. Until/unless someone figures a way to overcome the speed of light, a datacenter in Oregon is always going to be faster for North American users than one in Africa.

    That's why content distribution networks like Akamai serve you content from a DC nearest you - to reduce latency.

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