PBS | I, Cringely . October 20, 2005 - Seeing Is Believing "The problem comes when you start to think about power consumption. It's not that disk drives consume so much power or that they haven't come down in consumption over the years, but each of those cabinets will require using modern drives about 3,300 watts to run while the full 100 petabytes will require 2.148 MEGAwatts. And all that heat has to go somewhere, so the building will typically use three to four times as much power for air conditioning as it does to run the drives, taking our total power consumption up to just under 10 megawatts, which at typical U.S. industrial power rates will cost about $5 million per year.
NOW we know why Google bought those 30 acres on the Columbia River in Oregon right next to a generating station from the Bonneville Power Administration. It's a source of cheap, uninterruptible power."