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Data center operator to buy hydroelectric power for Ore. facility

Theoperator of an Oregon data center has become a direct access customer of local utilityPortland General ElectricCo., allowing it to run the facility, currently undergoing anexpansion, solely on electricity from renewable resources.

InfomartData Centers earlier in April secured a power purchase agreement withNoble Americas Energy SolutionsLLC, a retail supplier active in active in competitive electricityand natural gas markets across the U.S. The supplier will source electricityfor Infomart from the BonnevillePower Administration system for its Infomart Portland data centerin Hillsboro, Ore. An expansion expected to be completed in mid-summer willleave the facility at 340,000 square feet, requiring 24 MW.

InDecember 2015, Infomart received approval from Portland General to become adirect access customer, allowing it to obtain electricity supply from otherproviders. Portland General remains the distribution utility serving the datacenter.

"Directaccess for energy procurement is consistent with Infomart's belief in an openmarket with unbundled tariffs, no markups and the freedom to make our ownenergy-mix decisions," Infomart President John Sheputis said in a Dec. 17,2015, news release.

Inan April 12 news release announcing the PPA with Noble, Sheputis said Infomartprefers to site its data centers in states with competitive energy markets.Aside from Oregon, it has facilities in Dallas, supplied with 100 MW; San Jose,Calif., supplied with more than 19 MW; and Ashburn, Va., supplied with 11 MW.

Whenthe San Jose facility switched to direct access in 2010, the company said, a1-MW tenant saw its electricity rates lowered more than 38% compared to averageutility service through a bundled tariff.