Internet search giant Yahoo! officially opened its newest data center in western New York this week, featuring a wide range of energy-efficient technologies and an unlikely nickname: the Yahoo! Chicken Coop.

Chief Executive Carol Bartz said the Lockport facility is the first implementation of a new green data center design called the Yahoo! Coop (YCC). The facility uses a combination of Lockport’s cool climate, prevailing winds and hydro-generated electricity.

The design gets its “coop” name because of its long, narrow design, which mimics the shape of a chicken coop to encourage air flow. Yahoo says the result is that only l percent of the building’s total energy consumption is used to cool the facility.

The Lockport facility has a power usage effectiveness (PUE) rating of 1.08, compared with the industry average of 1.92.

“With the Yahoo! Chicken Coop design, we are spending less than one cent for cooling for every dollar spent on electricity,” David Dibble, Yahoo!’s executive vice president of service engineering and operations, said in a statement. “Significantly reducing our electricity usage is not only good for the environment, but also good for our bottom line, giving Yahoo! a competitive advantage.”

According to Yahoo!, the Lockport data center will:

  • Consume at least 40% less energy and 95% less water than conventional data centers.
  • Save enough energy to power more than 9,000 homes.
  • Save more water per year than flows over the Niagara Falls for a minute straight – the equivalent of enough drinking water for 200,000 people for one year.

In addition to the data center, the site will also support a Yahoo! Operations Center, which monitors the company’s Internet infrastructure. It will also serve as the home to a global service desk, and a 24/7 IT support center for employees. In all, Yahoo! said it is creating about 125 new jobs in the region.



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