In the near future, nearly 30 percent of data centers will run out of space, power or cooling capacity. The demand for these resources has brought energy efficiency to the forefront and driven creative thinking when considering data center construction. Syracuse University, IBM and GEM Energy opened a state-of-the-art data center composed of several innovative features that promised to reduce primary energy consumption by as much as 50 percent compared to a conventional utility-powered data center. Much of the advantage stems from the use of an on-site natural gas microturbine-based cogeneration system. This system supplies the data center’s electricity and cooling needs and surplus electricity, cooling and heating to adjacent campus buildings. This presentation will focus on the application of combined heat and power systems in data centers. A multi-city assessment of the energy, environmental and total cost of ownership benefits of a CCHP system in a data center environment is detailed using an experimentally validated holistic thermo-hydraulic modeling tool of the data center’s power and cooling infrastructure. Lastly, measured performance data of the Syracuse University Green Data Center CCHP installation will be presented along with a discussion of appropriate metrics for evaluating the performance of such systems.