To assess the impact of running diesel in the NoVA data centers, let’s compare it to the equivalent energy use for housing units in Loudoun county. The answer, derivation and resources/assumptions used to come up with this are below.
Running diesel for an hour would be the equivalent of 2.67 times the total number of housing units in Loudoun all using diesel for energy over that same period - a total of 375,000 homes all running diesel.
Number of Data Centers in NoVA: ~275 (and growing daily)
a. Approximate Sq. Footage: 45,000,000
b. Average home size (sq ft): 3,000
c. Multiplier for Data Center energy use relative to home: 25
d. Number of housing units in LoCo: 140,687
Data Center Home Equivalent = (a/b) * 25 = 375,000 housing units
Number times greater than total housing units in Loudoun = 375,000/d = 2.67
References and Assumptions for each variable:
This article from DoE indicates a 10x to 50x comparison with commercial buildings: https://www.energy.gov/eere/buildings/data-centers-and-servers
I couldn’t find a specific reference for home usage relative to data centers, but went with the mid-point for a commercial building. This seems fairly conservative when compared to the first reference above and also when considering your home just filled with racks of servers compared to living space…
I invite any updates to the assumptions and references and will update this in a new posting accordingly. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.