Two reports out this week show that there is a market for large data centers even in areas with high power rates.
The first covers the new Vantage data center in Santa Clara - a 9 MW wholesale colo featuring outside air economizers and a reported PUE of 1.12. It's the second of three data centers that Vantage is building, and can be scaled up to an 18 MW load.
The GigaOm article also reports that Vantage has their own substation, so is able to purchase power on the wholesale market, which presumably means they can best Silicon Valley Power's retail rate for large customers of about eight cents per kWh.
That's not really competitive though when some utility-scale data centers are getting power for under four cents a kWh in some markets.
But it does show that there is still a big market for data center space in Silicon Valley despite the costs, and I'd point out that Vantage's center was built in just eight months - incredibly fast. Kudos to Silicon Valley Power for being able to serve a load that quickly.
The other report from the New York Times describes the conversion of a former telco high rise in Manhattan into a data center - something we've watched companies like Verizon and AT&T do in-house.
The project developers claim to have 40 MW of power availability at the site, and no knock against Consolidated Edison, but they'll be getting perhaps the most expensive juice in the country.
There's a good discussion of other data center properties in New York in the article, along with a description on how rental rates are structured. As expected, rent isn't based on floor area but power capability: $300 or so per kW of capacity per month, and then you pay for the power.
My quick back-of the envelope calculations tell me that to house one typical server in a colo in Manhattan would cost about $3000 per year. We used to say we'd passed the point where the power costs for a server over it's useful life exceeded it's purchase price; in this case you surpass it in just twelve months!