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back to article Facebook, the BIGGEST WINDBAG on the planet? It'll blow $300m trying

When Facebook's new Iowa data center goes live in 2015, it will be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy, the social network says. Zuck & Co announced Altoona, Iowa as the site of its fourth major data center in April, saying that the new site will be a massive, 476,000-square-foot affair that will cost a minimum of $299.5m …

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Trollface

After thought

Do the architects also plan ahead in terms of what will happen to all the infrastructure when Facebok loses it's popularity ?

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Re: After thought

Yep. These guys and the architects who designed the Apple HQ also own building salvage companies. Wacky, 'branded' buildings are nearly always worthless when the original owner dies/goes away and tearing them down is usually at least thought about, if not outright built into the plan. The contents will be auctioned off for pennies on the dollar and a normal, leasable, space will replace them.

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Re: After thought

Wow, whatever happens the Architects are the winners.... Good to know that they do actually plan it out.

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Re: After thought

It's kind of weird that when you commission a new building the plans include tables of salvageable materials and estimates of required recovery effort and debris disposal. The going thing right now is to design drainage and ingress/egress to the site so the pad can be kept and repurposed.

It gets really complicated, but the bank looks at those things when you're working out your credit lines and many times you can get greatly reduced interest rates by assigning salvage and post occupancy development rights to the bank and/or town. You've gone through this elaborate process to get your building designed and built and before the ground is broken you're looking at its planned demise. Kind of a letdown.

I'm not a big fan of overly specialized buildings. Traditionally they end up being massive liabilities for the town that gets stuck with a towering pile of unwanted shit and demolition costs. The last few years have seen that somewhat reduced through the post occupancy market, but it's still a big issue. California and the greater DC region are chock full of empty purpose built 'branded' buildings from the first .com and real-estate bubbles. They're too expensive to rent, too expensive to demolish so new buildings are built further out and the cycle repeats.

A drive through most US cities of any decent size is like an interactive timeline of economic prosperity and out toward the edge is where most of the money is being made today. Between there and the center of the city is all the crap we've left behind and filled with the poor and bodegas. It's stupid, sad and expensive.

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Unhappy

Re: After thought

"I'm not a big fan of overly specialized buildings. Traditionally they end up being massive liabilities for the town that gets stuck with a towering pile of unwanted shit and demolition costs. The last few years have seen that somewhat reduced through the post occupancy market, but it's still a big issue. California and the greater DC region are chock full of empty purpose built 'branded' buildings from the first .com and real-estate bubbles. They're too expensive to rent, too expensive to demolish so new buildings are built further out and the cycle repeats."

Pity they can't be turned into low cost housing, isn't it?

Oh the horror. All those ghastly poor people actually living in a well(ish) insulated building with secure access, right next door to a lovely new bright and modern office complex.

What's that? The .dot com bubble offices are all together in a clump and no one would really notice?

Well that's still wrong.

mumble, mumble "....zoning...fire hazard...height resistrictions..."

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Re: After thought

It is a pity and it's ridiculous as well. People would scream bloody murder if we put the poor into empty office buildings: "Why should the poor person have a better view than me", etc... Some people would rather prevent others from having something simply out of spite and jealousy. It's quite sad.

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Unhappy

Re: After thought

""Why should the poor person have a better view than me", etc... Some people would rather prevent others from having something simply out of spite and jealousy. It's quite sad."

And that I guess is the "Politics of envy," American style.

I mean seriously, who would want to live in temporary accommodation in an office block unless the alternative was worse?

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Anonymous Coward

Interesting thought...

If you add up all the "we use X% renewable energy" claims for businesses in a country (e.g. UK), does the total claimed exceed the available supply in that country?

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Re: Interesting thought...

it's a bit like the 5% of the population have X disease, 13%, have Y disease, A number have been a victim of <insert> abuse, B number will be traumatised by something they read online and C will be bullied at work or home.

You add them all up and the UK has a population of 6 trillion, most of whom have at least 23 illness at any given time

I estimated that based on a survey of 2 people.

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Re: Interesting thought...

Ah-ha, now we know how IPSOS get the results......

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Tornado season has begun

What an awesomely stupid place to build wind turbines ...

... http://www.iowastatedaily.com/news/article_be00bb56-73ec-11e1-baab-001871e3ce6c.html

"The wail of a tornado siren is something most Iowans have heard, as Iowa is smack dab in the middle of “Tornado Alley” — a hotbed of several Midwestern states comprising a notoriously deadly tornado zone."

... unless of course, those clever engineers have invented the tornado-proof wind turbine ?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Tornado season has begun

Simple - use those missile silos and build "self-decending" turbines.

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powered by 100 per cent renewable energy - 100% bullshit

If Facebook shut down this data centre when the wind didn't blow they could claim 100%.

But then they would have to build an equally big data centre powered by something else to take the load and have that one standing idle when it is windy.

Instead they can abuse the grid using it as a giant free storage battery and make the power generation companies build enough power stations to keep the lights on when it isn't windy and have them stand idle or run less efficiently when it is and we the net electricity consumers end up paying for it.

So thanks Facebook for putting up my electricity bills with your efforts to appease technically illiterate eco green tossers with your 100% claims.

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Unhappy

There should be a law

That makes any business making such claims identify which piece of 'renewable' energy boondogle will be supplying X% of power requirements; then said business can only use that X% iff and only iff the 'renewable' energy thing is actually working at faceplate value.

At all other times you can only draw the actual percantage produced by said piece of 'renewable' energy thing.

Since wind turbines typically only supply less than 30% of faceplate amount of energy; then the Facebook farm could only AVERAGE less than 30% capacity use. Which would mean Facebook would have to build it big enought to operate at full capacity when the local wind turbines produce 100%; at all other times (some 2/3rds of the time) some to much to all of the bulding would be powered OFF.

And they should have to pay the true; unsubsidised costs (build; generation; maintenance AND return to green field costs) per kW/hr (Note; in the UK land based wind turbines actually cost around 5 to 10 times the cost of conventional generation; marine based cost 10 to 20 the amount)

People then may start to realise; that until we invent a practable form of storing industrial amounts of energy; any 'renewable' energy thing is just an exercise in appalingly bad engineering.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: There should be a law

It's not bad engineering when its still being developed. This lack of development partly due to the corruption involved with fossil fuels stunting development.

The cost of burning fossil fuels is much bigger than recorded. Who pays to clean up the stains left behind by smog, or to incinerate polluted leaves from trees? Not to mention the pollutants already in composted vegetation. Wind power would already have been stored as hydrogen if it wasn't for the obsession with digging wells and burning what comes out.

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Meh

100% of their own power *when* the wind blows, but when it doesn't?

Well that's someone else's problem.

Naturally they could get some kind of "green energy" tariff off a supplier, but I'll bet it's more than they'd want to pay.

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Van

No investment

During the 1970s oil crisis, the same ideas were touted but brushed under the carpet. Politics ruined the chances of making the same strides in energy as say the computing industry. Stop blaming the greens and eco warriors.

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