Recently, eBay Inc. announced a plan to create the largest non-utility fuel cell installation in the United States. The company has partnered with Bloom Energy and by the summer of 2013, the online auction and retail corporation’s flagship data center will run entirely on power generated by on-site fuel cells.

“We believe the future of commerce can be greener,” said eBay President and CEO John Donahoe. “Technology-led innovation is changing retail and revolutionizing how people shop and pay. We also want to revolutionize how shopping is powered. We are embracing disruptive energy technology and designing it into our core data center energy architecture. Running our data centers primarily on reliable, renewable energy, we intend to shape a future for commerce that is more environmentally sustainable at its core.”

The Jordan City, Utah data center will serve as eBay’s primary source for the company’s commerce marketplace, its PayPal payment system and its StubHub ticket sales site. The website does an estimated $2,000 worth of transactions every second. It will only use grid electricity as a backup.

Fuel cells are industrial devices that look similar to refrigerators. They produce electricity with fuel like natural gas or biogas. The gas is combined with oxygen and run over chemicals to produce electricity.

Bloom Energy fuel cells outside of eBay headquarters in San Jose, California. Credit: Bloom Energy.

Bloom Energy is a private company based in Sunnyvale, California. The company is currently involved in plans to create the United States second largest corporate fuel cell installation for Apple Inc.’s data center in Maiden, North Carolina.

Bloom provided eBay’s San Jose headquarters with a fuel cell installation. The new data center will become eBay’s fifth renewable energy installation.

“Bloom Energy is thrilled to be supporting eBay on this innovative and inspiring large scale project,” Principal Co-Founder and CEO of Bloom Energy K.R. Sridhar said.

“When Bloom came to us, it was an easy decision to become an early adopter of their cutting-edge new technology,” said Donahoe. “As a result, we’re meeting financial and environmental goals with the project while fueling a more energy efficient global marketplace.”




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