Iron Mountain Going Solar

Data storage and document management firm Iron Mountain has announced plans to install solar panels on the rooftop of eight of its storage facilities in three U.S. states.
 
The solar power systems will generate more than 5.2 million kilowatt-hours of energy in their first year of operation according to the company – enough to supply the electricity needs of 450 U.S. households.
  
Through a power purchase agreement with SunEdison, the installations will be financed, constructed and maintained by the utility; with Iron Mountain buying the electricity generated from these systems at fixed rates for 20 years. 
  
All of the solar arrays will be operational by early next year.
  
Iron Mountain says the systems are just the beginning – with nearly 1,000 facilities around the world, the company has major rooftop real estate resources that could be used for electricity generation and that will help the company towards its environmental sustainability goals.
  
“Given our sizeable real estate footprint and the economic model of solar energy, this was a no-brainer. We’re excited to install these solar panels, and we’ll look to identify additional locations,” said Iron Mountain CEO and Chairman Richard Reese.
  
Among Iron Mountain’s other environmental efforts is its “Room 48” data center, located underground in a Pennsylvania limestone mine. The data center naturally maintains an ambient temperature of 13 degrees Celsius, dramatically reducing the need for cooling;  a major energy-sucker for most data centers.
   
Iron Mountain was also the largest provider of shredded recycled paper in North America last year; avoiding 1.3 million cubic yards of landfill use and saving 1.8 billion KW hours of electricity in the process.
  
Power consumption of data centers is becoming an increasingly pressing issue; fuelled by the massive popularity of the Internet and the rapidly increasing uptake of cloud computing.
  
With most data centers having substantial rooftop areas, solar energy not only provides environmental benefits, but substantial electricity cost savings for companies that install arrays.
   
Last month, Australian company NEXTDC Limited announced a commitment to build what will be the nation’s largest privately-owned solar array at its Port Melbourne data centre. The system will be installed by national residential and commercial solar power solutions company, Energy Matters.