Dropbox is going solar! While many businesses are turning to solar to save money, it’s especially fitting for an Internet file storage company to do so.
The Internet consumes a great deal of energy. No one knows quite how much, because it’s hard to tease out all the contributing factors. A big energy drain is the large data centers, or server farms, that store our online data — photos and videos we post, or even files we back up on remote servers.
Estimates of the Internet’s carbon footprint vary from 1% to 5% of all CO2 emissions, and some say it’s exceeded or at least reached the footprint of the aviation industry. And it’s only growing.
So while Dropbox’s new LEED Platinum San Francisco office is not a server farm, solar was still a natural choice for the company.
Kilroy Realty, which leases the building to Dropbox, has selected renewable energy provider UGE (TSX VENTURE: UG) to design and supply the solar energy system for the office. The custom PV array will harness solar energy to produce power onsite at Dropbox, offsetting the electricity used in the new six-story commercial building.
UGE designed the 25.2kW solar PV system to enhance efficiency and sustainability, analyzing the specific solar resources available at the 333 Brannan St. location and using its advanced proprietary site assessment technology. The resulting renewable energy system incorporates 84 300-watt solar panels and will be among several sustainable features included at the LEED Platinum building, designed by William McDonough Partners.
“On-site renewable energy will power a sustainable future for Dropbox — a visible step forward for an innovative company located in the heart of the tech capital of the world,” said Scott Van Pelt, Director of Engineering at UGE. “UGE’s software tools have played a crucial role in designing efficient solar and wind systems based on site-specific resources, so it’s both exciting and fitting that one of our energy solutions will top the headquarters of a leader in cloud technology.”
UGE has designed wind, solar, lighting, and battery storage systems for global brands including Whole Foods, Hilton, and Verizon.