Announcing eBay Inc.'s Renewable Energy RFQ

Back in March, I wrote about the 2012 Data Center Top 10, the current pulse of what is hot, interesting, challenging or emerging from the DCP community. “Renewable Power Options” came in at Number Five but for eBay, it’s near the top of the list.

We fundamentally believe that the future of commerce can be better than it is today; not only more convenient and accessible to consumers, but greener, cleaner and more efficient. The technology infrastructure and energy behind eBay’s commerce platforms are core to this vision. I’ve written here many times about the radical efficiency measures and innovative design approaches that my team, in tandem with our industry partners, has integrated into our data center portfolio. But as remarkable as those accomplishments have been, we are still using more carbon-intensive electricity than we would like. For the last three years, we’ve traversed the complicated regulatory environment and ever-expanding technology arena to source clean energy where we operate. Today, I’m excited to announce our next step in that journey.

On September 4th, eBay sent a Request For Qualifications (RFQ)  to organizations that can supply or develop renewable energy for eBay data centers and office locations in Utah and other locations in the Western U.S. A natural next step following the clean energy legislation we helped develop and pass in Utah earlier this year, this work will also supplement other clean energy programs eBay is pursuing, including our recently-announced collaboration with Bloom Energy. As with our entire corporate energy portfolio, we are agnostic as to the renewable technology used, and are open to everything from wind to solar to geothermal to trash power – or anything else that makes economic and ecological sense for our business, and for the local community. To ensure that we have a complete picture of the options available to us, we are leveraging our public Request For Information (RFI) process, established in 2010, which yielded our award winning Data Center, Project Mercury in Arizona and our latest expansion, Project Quicksilver in Utah. My hope is that the renewable power community will step up with proposals on how we can expand our portfolio with innovative and cost effective clean energy solutions in our own backyard.

Vendors who meet the requirements of the RFQ will be invited to respond to a more detailed RFI under a mutual non-disclosure agreement (MDNA). RFI responses are due by October 31, 2012.

Email if you wish to participate, or have any questions about the RFQ or this process. We want to hear from you. We can’t wait to announce the results and take a big step closer to our vision of a commerce platform powered 100% by clean energy. Stay tuned for updates!