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Virtualization Project Earns California City Energy Rebate

Green IT is clearly not just for businesses large and small; the growth of demand for data storage and computing power affects organizations of all sizes and in almost every field.

The city of Walnut Creek, Calif., announced today that by working with data center virtualization firm INX, the city has earned a rebate from its electric utility company for consolidating its servers and moving to energy-efficient IT hardware.

The project, through which INX consolidated servers and virtualized desktops for city employees, will earn Walnut Creek a rebate through Pacific Gas & Electric's Non-Residential Retrofit rebate program, available to businesses or other organizations that invest in energy efficient technologies or systems.

To achieve the rebate, Walnut Creek and INX consolidated the city's servers, reducing the amount of machines needed and increasing the energy efficiency of those remaining. INX also installed a backup and recovery solution for city data and launched a virtual desktop initiative to replace desktop machines with thin client terminals that use less energy and can be remotely managed.

“The technology is a better use of the taxpayers’ money on so many levels," said Laura Peabody, Walnut Creek CIO, in a statement. "We are pleased to qualify for the utility program by reducing electricity consumption.”

Energy efficiency rebates have become more common for green IT projects recently, as electric utility companies strive to encourage and reward efficiency projects. At the end of 2008, NetApp received a $1.4 million rebate from PG&E for its efficiency work, and in August 2009, Fortune Data Centers earned $900,000 in rebates from the utility for its green project.

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