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Startup installs hydrogen-powered data center

Data center startup ECL has installed its first hydrogen-powered unit in California and raised an additional $10m to expand its footprint.

Data Center-as-a-Service pioneer ECL today announced the delivery of the world’s first data center that uses hydrogen as its primary power source at MV1, its facility in Mountain View, California, according to a news release.

The company also announced an additional $10m in funding led by Hyperwise Ventures, which will be used to accelerate research and development and expand the company’s global footprint. ECL’s off-grid, sustainable, modular, built-to-suit data centers are the industry’s first to be designed from the ground up to support the high densities of GPUs that are the backbone of AI infrastructure, with PUE of 1.1 and high-density deployments of up to 75kw per rack.

ECL cooling innovations, including utilization of water created from hydrogen-based power generation and proprietary rear door heat exchanger technology for high-density rack cooling, completely eliminate reliance on local resources. ECL data centers are modular, giving customers the option to expand them as needed in 1MW increments. They are also built-to-suit and can be designed and delivered in less than 12 months instead of the industry standard two-to-three years.

Cato Digital Named First Tenant

Sustainable bare metal cloud provider Cato Digital, led by longtime data center industry innovator and iMasons founder Dean Nelson, is ECL’s first customer. Cato provides dedicated GPU server rental to platform partners, enterprises and retail users that are ideal for inference engines, generative AI, and continuous training of small language models (SLMs) that are predicted to be even more pervasive than concentrated LLM training data centers. The company is deploying NVIDIA DGX hardware configured at the highest density possible to fully utilize the ECL design at MV1. ECL and Cato are founding members of the iMasons Climate Accord (ICA), an industry body of over 260 companies representing a combined market cap of $6T USD that have united on decarbonizing digital infrastructure.

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