2016-09-19 / Front Page

Green pays off for Oxford

Tech solutions provider at Brunswick Landing
BY DOUGLAS MCINTIRE
Times Record Staff

BRUNSWICK

One of the only properties still encircled in barbed wire at Brunswick Landing, Oxford Networks, despite being defined by its use of electricity, has made huge leaps in becoming more energy efficient.

Efficiency Maine worked with Oxford Networks to curb carbon pollution and its associated risks to climate change and the environment.

Andrew LaVogue of Environment Maine issued a report of green projects in New England. Oxford Networks was the only company representing Maine. 

“We can cut carbon pollution and build a clean energy economy which is a win-win for Brunswick and Maine in general,” LaVogue said of improvements made at the information technologies business.

Lewiston-based Oxford Networks is a technology solutions provider that maintains high-security data centers in Maine and New Hampshire. The company’s services and products include data center services, managed IT services, voice, Internet and carrier services.

Its Brunswick data center is housed in a 32,000-square-foot former military secure data and communications center facility that was designed and constructed by NATO in the mid-1980s. At the center, Oxford offers cloud computing, data storage and backup and disaster recovery services. The data center has served customers including Polar Beverage, MCHO, True Textiles, Maine Oxy and Bowdoin College.

With money from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Oxford Networks was able to install state of the art HVAC throughout the building as well as switch over to LED lighting.

For a business that operates nonstop, that can make a huge difference — especially with banks of servers that rely on a cool environment while creating a lot of heat.

Oxford Networks Marketing Manager Paul Badeau said companies rely on them to ensure constant access and backup for their data. Badeau said when your laptop goes down, it’s an inconvenience. For Oxford, however, that’s not an option.

“By installing that HVAC system, we expect to save $3,000 to $5,000 a year,” Badeau said. It’s a number that’s expected to rise as Oxford’s number of clients increases over time.

The cooling system installed takes advantage of outdoor temperatures. When the air becomes cooler in the fall and winter, the air conditioning compressors don’t come on. Instead, the refrigerant is cycled to the roof where it’s cooled and falls below to the server rooms.

In colder months, the compressors don’t operate at all, resulting in big savings for the company.

Even the giant bank of batteries used as part of their redundant system to ensure power flow has been made more energy efficient.

“We came to the table because we are a business and we need to save as much money on operating expenses as possible and based on the results thus far, we can certainly testify that installing these energy efficiency measures makes a whole lot of sense,” Badeau said.

Badeau admitted that there’s also an added “wow” factor with having such state of the art, high-efficiency equipment when showing potential clients around. Badeau said it makes for a lasting impression.

Operations Manager John Coray said programs like RGGI have allowed Oxford Networks to upgrade green technology to the highest level, creating more incentives for businesses to participate.

“We’re very conscientious of being a good steward and finding the most efficient way to power those data servers and we’re proud to be participating in the RGGI program and any other Efficiency Maine programs available. It’s really benefited our company in the last four years,” Coray said.

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