Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Follow The Moon

Google has some ideas on how to lower its electricity bill.

“The ability to seamlessly shift workloads between data centers also creates intriguing long-term energy management possibilities, including a “follow the moon” strategy which takes advantage of lower costs for power and cooling during overnight hours. In this scenario, virtualized workloads are shifted across data centers in different time zones to capture savings from off-peak utility rates.”

A geographically diverse company like Google could shift its computing loads around to follow low night-time power costs. But it also seems likely that utilities could also bid to fill Google’s computing power needs. States would want to have Google crunch its servers using their utilities power so that they would get the extra utilities tax. And utilities would want to bid to get the extra Google business. (Actually, this probably wouldn’t happen in California, where utilities are incentivized to sell less power, not more.)
Well the evidence is in about California. There are some terminally stupid people running that state. Fortunately there are some smart people running Google. As suggested in the article they will probably just bypass California and use Washington State or Oregon State to supply California with bits.


Neil said...

That's because Oregon, Idaho, and Washington have the only regional grid in the nation that is not likely to have significant capacity issues next five years. The Bonneville Power Administration (the Columbia River dams) provides nearly all the power for the Pacific Northwest. They even export power to California, although the Northwest retains priority on the power.

Even if no new coal or nuclear plants get built, there's enough capacity to keep rates stable there for a good while. Except, of course, in the unlikely event that the radical environmentalists succeed in having the dams removed.

M. Simon said...


Thanks for laying that out.

I knew most of it which is why I suggested Washington and Oregon.