Bloom Energy announced a power capacity agreement with Intel Corporation that the companies say will result in Silicon Valley’s largest fuel cell-powered high-performance computing data center. 

The agreement calls for the installation of additional MW of Bloom Energy’s solid oxide fuel cell-based Energy Server at Intel’s existing high-performance computing data center in Santa Clara, California. The additional capacity expands an existing Bloom Energy fuel cell installation already deployed at the tech giant’s location since 2014. The resulting installation will be the single largest fuel cell-powered high-performance computing data center in Silicon Valley, Bloom Energy said.

“Bloom Energy is proud to be a long-term supplier to Intel and to support the company’s data center capacity building at a time when the grid is severely constrained,” said Ravi Prasher, Bloom Energy’s Chief Technology Officer. “Bloom Energy technology is compatible with hydrogen fuel in addition to natural gas. We are working with governments and industries to adopt hydrogen as a primary fuel when it becomes economically viable. Intel’s confidence in our fuel cell technology is a testament to Bloom’s ability to reliably meet the energy needs of cutting edge and high-performance IT infrastructure.”

Bloom’s offerings can be deployed as grid parallel in conjunction with utility power to meet dual source energy needs of a data center or as grid independent by avoiding transmission infrastructure.

“Intel is leading the industry in extreme energy-efficient high-performance computing data centers with existing hyperscale Intel Santa Clara Data Center operating at 1.06 PUE, enabling the HPC scale needed for complex Intel chip design and technology development,” said Shesha Krishnapura, Intel Fellow, and Intel IT Chief Technology Officer.

Data centers are growing dramatically – in the U.S. and elsewhere. According to a recent study released by EPRI, data centers could consume up to 9% of U.S. electricity generation by 2030 — more than double the amount currently used. This could create regional supply challenges, among other issues.

According to EPRI’s analysis, an estimated 80% of the national data center load in 2023 was concentrated in 15 states, led by Virginia and Texas. Demands for highly reliable power, requests for power from new, non-emitting generation sources, and short lead times for connection—of two years or less—can create local and regional electricity supply challenges.

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