Coops Rise to Meet New Data Center Load Challenges

The deserts of the Pacific Northwest have become popular locations for data centers, and this trend is changing the way some electric coops do business.  Companies including Google, Amazon, and Facebook have chosen locations in or around Oregon because of the state’s tax breaks, cheap abundant power, and cool, dry weather that can accommodate large-scale data centers.  To maintain 24/7 operations of video streaming, messaging, and Internet purchasing, each data center requires an uninterrupted source of power.  Estimated electric demand in Oregon by 2030 is nearly 2,500 MW—enough power for 239,000 homes—unless the data centers adopt more energy-efficient operations.  Coops in the state are rapidly evolving to meet the influx of demand, although concerns have arisen about meeting the demand while complying with state Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) requirements.  For more on this story, click here.

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