The Silverwater data centre that services NSW's government agencies has secured the first 4.5 star NABERS rating ever handed to an Australian data centre, making it officially the greenest facility in the country.
It has been a long journey to this point for the state government and its data centre partner Metronode, with NABERS testing at the western Sydney site commencing back in August 2014.
At the time, state government officials declared their intention to eventually reach a five star certification, an ambition Metronode will continue to pursue under the terms of its ten-year contract with NSW.
Metronode managing director Josh Griggs said he expected this next step up in certification for the facility to arrive later this year.
He said he was confident 4.5 star ratings would also be awarded for the company’s other GovDC facility in Unanderra, as well as Metronode's co-lo site in Melbourne, “within the next two months”.
“The NSW government, one of our key tenants in our Silverwater and Illawarra data centres, believes it will save more than $50 million in benefits from 2013-2018. That is equivalent in terms of emissions to taking 18,400 cars off the road every day,” Griggs said in a statement.
The NABERS environmental rating system is governed by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage on behalf of Commonwealth, state and territory governments. The office first introduced a dedicated data centre certification standard in 2013.
Seven other Australian data centre facilities have also completed a NABERS certification, with three Fujitsu sites and one Interactive site awarded four stars for their energy efficiency.
A NABERS assessment requires a minimum 12 months of measurement.
Delays in finalising the Silverwater rating are understood to have been caused by empty floor space as agencies progressively migrate into the facility. Full efficiency measures are hard to achieve while capacity remains unutilised.
However, all NSW government central agencies are required to have at least started moving their data centre assets into one of the two GovDC facilities by August 2017, and many have already completed the shift.
The state’s energy efficiency policy demands that NSW government data centres meet a minimum 4.5 star rating by June 2017.
NSW Innovation Minister Victor Dominello told iTnews achieving a 4.5 star NABERS rating for the Silverwater GovDC was a "demonstration of best practice".
“As the government increases its digital footprint, we must always be conscious to limit our environmental footprint,” he said.
In a letter to Metronode, head of NABERS assessor Green Global Solutions, Bob Sharon, congratulated the team on the “momentous achievement” of securing “the best data centre infrastructure NABERS rating in Australia thus far”.