It's just starting to really warm up and we're already seeing all over the news that California has reached critically low water levels, extending a four year drought. So then, what does this drought have to do with Utah colocation?
One of the most highly efficient power generation methods are hydroelectric dams. Water moves downstream and the momentum builds up behind a dam and is funneled through, turning a generator as it goes. There's no extraction, there's no burning, you don't have to wait for the wind to pick up - hydropower is an energy source with tremendous efficiency and continuous production ability.
Now with the drought, California is having to use natural gas instead of hydroelectric power to compensate for the lack of hydroelectric energy produced. Natural gas has to be extracted and burned to generate electricity. Energy produced by natural gas is more expensive to make than energy produced by hydroelectric power. So naturally, the average cost of power in California is going to rise.
The good thing is that nearby Utah has power costs that are half that of California. Power is the main fixed cost for a data center. So the cheaper the power cost, the lower the hosting costs are going to be. With the drought, the value of Utah colocation just soars. Makes sense that data center customers in California would be even more motivated to move their infrastructure to Utah.
Idea for story: https://twitter.com/C7DataCenters/status/587671325872955393
California Drought, Natural Gas: http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=20732
Power efficiency comparisons: http://www.mpoweruk.com/energy_efficiency.htm
Power costs by state comparisons: http://www.eia.gov/electricity/state/