Aerial view of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is nestled in the hillside of Pasadena, California.

Courtesy of Thomas A. Dutch Slager, NASA

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), located in the San Gabriel Valley in Southern California's Los Angeles County, is a federally funded research and development center that consists of more than 150 buildings spread across 177 acres. In 2018, JPL entered into a 14-year $23 million dollar energy savings performance contract (ESPC) with CEG Solutions, LLC, for the design and installation of energy conservation measures that resulted in significant savings through reduced energy consumption and lowered operation and maintenance costs, plus the additional benefits of reduced greenhouse gas emissions and providing additional space for redundant equipment where needed.

Project Highlights

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

The project reduced energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, while improving the mission IT needs, resulting in:

  • Increased data center IT capacity on campus
  • Improved locational redundancy of IT equipment
  • Retention of long-term hardware access locally
  • Optimization of the network with minimal communication delays
  • Low latency communication.

By replacing obsolete equipment, this project reduced equipment operations and maintenance burdens and helped the energy management team at the site meet their goals. These results will help JPL make significant progress toward federal energy-related IT reporting goals, as well as NASA Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan goals. NASA has demonstrated that there are significant cost savings opportunities, creating a more efficient data center environment and addressing IT infrastructure improvement needs by implementing data center energy conservation measures through this ESPC. 

The integration of various departments was crucial to the overall success of this project. In particular, the substantial involvement by the NASA JPL IT office in the migration process played a significant role in the successful outcome.

Impacts

The guaranteed cost savings over the finance term is approximately $39 million dollars. This project will produce significant energy and energy-related savings by allowing JPL to consolidate IT equipment from a less efficient data center into two high-performance data centers. This measure is expected to provide the following benefits:

  • An estimated annual savings of $2.7 million in avoided utility and operating and maintenance expenditures¬†
  • Reduced annual energy consumption by 12,639 MMBtu per year
  • Increased data center IT capacity, while maintaining the potential for locational redundancy

The $23M project investment and generation of 12,339 MMBtu in annual energy savings will result in:

  • 1,326 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent reduced annually (using eGRID 2019), equivalent to removing 260 cars from the road
  • 200 job-years created.