Iron Flag marks 50th data center decommission

April 28, 2021
Iron Flag Power Systems recently announced the completion of its 50th data center decommissioning project over the past five years.
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Iron Flag Power Systems recently announced the completion of its 50th data center decommissioning project over the last five years.

Company owners Eric Schaevitz and Nick Valliere celebrated with their crew as the final truck load of old batteries, transformers, and fire suppression pulled out of the parking lot of the small, 5,000 ft² data center which once housed the gear of Crocker Communications, which had all of its electrical infrastructure removed and recovered including generators, batteries, server racks, switch gear, UPS equipment, wires, transformers, fire suppression, automatic transfer switches, CRAC units and PDUs.

The historic site, which housed the old Springfield Armory in the 1700s, was delicately brought closer to its original form over just 7 days' work by Iron Flag in the facility.

“This is a big deal,” Iron Flag's Schaevitz says. “We’ve shown that our model of paying the client to do the work for them is financially viable. People see our model and think it’s too good to be true. Well, I can hand you a list of 50 companies that can tell you otherwise.”

Iron Flag hopes that the milestone will help cement the company's claim as an industry leader. The company specializes in targeted demolition and asset recovery, decommissioning data centers and other facilities with electrical infrastructure, through a lens that sees the equipment as assets instead of liabilities.

Iron Flag's other 49 decom projects over the past 5 years include a 30,000 ft² data center in Boise Idaho, which took 6 weeks to decommission; and a facility in Boxborough, Massachusetts, which housed 7 megawatts of power, and took two months to break down.

Despite the large amount of time and effort invested in this project, Iron Flag says it was still able to pay just under $1 million for the opportunity to decommission the site -- making money back on the reselling of the equipment once it had been removed. Iron Flag contends that most similar companies in the industry do the opposite - i.e. charge to remove and dispose of equipment.

Schaevitz adds, “In other words, we’re able to extract the value out of equipment that the client may have otherwise assumed was an expense.”

Iron Flag Power Systems was technically founded in 2016, but has operated under a different name since 2012.

“We started counting in 2016, which gives us an average of 10 projects per year,” says Iron Flag co-owner Valliere. The company's home base is in Narberth, PA, but it services the US and Canada, with occasional projects overseas.

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