DNR energy-saving project garners $107,359 grant from Puget Sound Energy

Computer networking equipment

DNR computer network equipment before (left) and after (right) an upgrade that lowers power consumption by more than 90 percent. Photo John Daane/DNR.

The outcome of a recent computer project is not only saving DNR money through reduced power consumption, it’s brought in some welcomed cash — a check for $107,359 from Puget Sound Energy, to be exact.

The DNR Windows Server Virtualization Project, which was planned and completed a team of DNR staff, substantially reduces the number of computer servers needed in the Natural Resources Building Data Center. Using ‘virtualization technology,’ approximately 110 servers are being consolidated into 6 servers that will provide the same or better levels of service and reliability. Servers take up physical space, use electricity, require cooling, and demand regular maintenance. By eliminating more than 100 servers, the virtualization project will allow DNR to spend thousands of dollars less for server-related electricity, staff time, space and hardware costs.

Best of all, a grant from Puget Sound Energy recoups more than 60 percent of the one-time-only cost of $170,000 needed to implement the new server technology. The Puget Sound Energy (PSE) Commercial Custom Grants Program offers up to 70% of retrofit costs to successful applicants.

The project qualified for the grant by saving 281,995 kilowatt-hours annually — enough energy to run 300 average-sized U.S. households for a year, the EPA estimates.  That works out to a reduction of 4.63 million pounds of CO2 annually.

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