Facebook recently released the power usage of Prineville data center used last year. It’s enough
energy to power 6,500 homes. The report also scans the energy use and carbon footprint per
The facilities use a lot of power, as companies like Facebook and Apple swiftly expand with new
data centers, including facilities here in Central Oregon. When Facebook shared a company-wide
report on their environmental impact from 2011, it revealed it used 71 million kilowatt hours of
power at the Prineville data center.
“That’s a lot of power,” said Bob Jenks, executive director of the Citizens Utility Board of
Oregon. “The average residential customer in Oregon uses somewhere around 900 kilowatt hours
per month.” Jenks estimated that amount of energy could power 6,500 homes.
“All of us that are Internet users are causing the need for data centers,” Jenks said. “And they are
going to go somewhere.”
Jason Carr, the director of Prineville Economic Development, says the amount of power used by the
Facebook facility won’t have an impact on Prineville customers. The company pays for the upgrades
they need to power the facilities.
“The reality is that it’s pretty difficult for any company to be powered completely off renewable,”
Carr said. Prineville officials say Facebook has kept up with its promise of being green.
Environmental groups like Greenpeace, commenced a campaign critical of the networking giant’s
use of coal-generated power, are taking notice of Facebook’s proposal to lessen its reliance on other
types of energy.
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