Dell's HQ switches to 100 percent renewable energy


Energy from wind and landfill gas sources now completely powers Dell Inc.'s 2.1 million square foot headquarters in Austin, Texas, the computer maker recently announced.

Dell's announcement of a deal with Waste Management and TXU Energy Wind Power is part of its bid to achieve carbon neutrality at its owned and leased facilities this year.

Waste Management's Austin Community Landfill gas-to-energy facility will supply about 40 percent of the power needs at Dellís headquarters, with the remainder coming from existing wind farms in the state through TXU Energy.

Dellís Austin Parmer Campus also is seeing an increase in green power, from 8 percent to 17 percent, through Austin Energy. The companyís Twin Falls, Idaho, facility is also powered completely by wind and solar power.

In a recent conference call, the company said the contract is for a little more than 80 million kilowatt hours per year. Dell declined to say how much the contract was worth, but predicted that green power - which now sells for a slight premium compared to conventional power - could one day sell more cheaply.

Retrofit projects across Dell facilities - such as deploying power management systems and replacing inefficient lighting and air conditioners - save the company $2 million a year.

The news comes just days after the company said it would close a desktop PC manufacturing plant in Austin and lay-off as many as 8,800 workers as part of a massive restructuring plan designed to save the company $3 billion during the next three years.