eBay Sets Bold New Vision for Powering Commerce with Clean Energy

Company: eBay Inc.
Published: 21 June, 2012
SAN JOSE, Calif.-- eBay Inc. set a bold new vision today for powering commerce with clean energy, announcing plans to build the next phase of the company's flagship data center with renewable energy as its primary power source. Partnering with Bloom Energy, eBay is building the country's largest non-utility fuel cell installation. Renewable energy typically supplements the electric grid, but eBay is designing renewable energy into the core of its global commerce platform, incorporating 30 Bloom Energy servers into the new data center's energy architecture. The electric utility grid will be used only as backup.

“We believe the future of commerce can be greener,” said John Donahoe, President and CEO of eBay Inc. “Technology-led innovation is changing retail and revolutionizing how people shop and pay. We also want to revolutionize how shopping is powered. We are embracing disruptive energy technology and designing it into our core data center energy architecture. Running our data centers primarily on reliable, renewable energy, we intend to shape a future for commerce that is more environmentally sustainable at its core.”

The new six-megawatt (MW) Bloom installation is being designed and engineered into eBay’s expanded data center facility in Utah, and will be fully functional by mid-2013. Each of the 30 Bloom Energy servers will generate 1.75 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity annually, and will be installed a few hundred feet from the center itself, virtually eliminating traditional utility grid losses. eBay will use the Bloom fuel cells—which generate on-site power 24 hours a day, 365 days a year—to replace the large and expensive backup generators and UPS components that are historically utilized less than 1 percent of the year. eBay's fuel cells will be powered by biogas, a fossil fuel alternative derived from renewable organic waste.

The Bloom servers will power millions of transactions by eBay's more than 102 million active users, who generate more than $69 billion in merchandise volume annually. The data center also will power activity across eBay's other global commerce platforms, including PayPal and StubHub, enabling merchants, retail partners, buyers and sellers to do greener commerce.

“By being a trail blazer and deploying a brand new, revolutionary architecture to build its new data center, eBay is raising the standard for the entire industry. It is 21st century infrastructure for the industry needs of the 21st century,” said KR Sridhar, Principal Co-Founder and CEO of Bloom Energy. “Bloom Energy is thrilled to be supporting eBay on this innovative and inspiring large scale project.”

The new Bloom Energy project will be eBay’s fifth and largest renewable energy installation. eBay operates a 650 kilowatt (kW) solar array and a 500 kW Bloom fuel cell installation at its San Jose headquarters, as well as a 100 kW solar array at its Denver data center. In April of this year, the company installed a 665 kW solar array spanning 72,000 square feet atop its existing, LEED® certified Utah data center.

The new data center will become the third facility in Utah demonstrating the company’s commitment to doing greener, cleaner business in the state, and everywhere it operates. In addition to the existing LEED certified data center in South Jordan and a new customer service center planned to LEED standards in Draper, eBay played a central role in the development and passage of Utah Senate Bill 12 earlier this year. The legislation allows non-utility energy consumers to buy and transmit power directly from renewable energy developers.

About eBay Inc.

Founded in 1995 in San Jose, Calif., eBay Inc. is a global commerce platform and payments leader connecting millions of buyers and sellers. We do so through eBay, the world’s largest online marketplace, which allows users to buy and sell in nearly every country on earth; through PayPal, which enables individuals and businesses to securely, easily and quickly send and receive digital payments; and through GSI, which facilitates ecommerce, multichannel retailing and digital marketing for global enterprises. X.commerce brings together the technology assets and developer communities of eBay, PayPal and Magento, an ecommerce platform, to support eBay Inc.’s mission of enabling commerce. We also reach millions through specialized marketplaces such as StubHub, the world’s largest ticket marketplace, and eBay classifieds sites, which together have a presence in more than 1,000 cities around the world. For more information about the company and its global portfolio of online brands, visit www.ebayinc.com.