Battery energy storage to support grid at Belgian hyperscale facility

Centrica Business Solutions, a provider of integrated energy solutions that balance profitability and sustainability, and Fluence, a global supplier of energy storage products, services, and digital applications, have announced their collaboration with Google for the supply and optimisation of a zero-emission battery energy storage system at a hyperscale data centre in Saint-Ghislain.

For Google, it is the first-of-its-kind project globally that uses a battery-based energy storage system to reduce the number of diesel generators needed to provide backup power to the facility. The installation of 2.75 MW of Fluence’s Gridstack energy storage product at the St.Ghislain data centre serves as a proof-of-concept for wider use of battery-based energy storage at Google’s facilities to help Google deliver on its commitment to operate globally on24/7 carbon-free energy by 2030.

Centrica will connect the battery storage assets to the Belgian electricity grid, allowing Google’s on-site batteries to flexibly store and discharge energy using Centrica’s FlexPond software. The project hopes to demonstrate the role that industrial consumers can play in stabilising electricity grids via on-site batteries.

Marc Oman, Senior Lead of Data Centre Energy and Infrastructure at Google, said: “Google is pleased to drive technology innovation at the intersection of the data centre and energy industries, particularly when our innovations catalyse benefits beyond our own operations. The zero-emission backup power system provided by Fluence at our St. Ghislain facility is an important step forward in reaching our carbon-free energy goals. Not only will it allow Google to operate more cleanly during interruptions to grid reliability, but through our collaboration with Centrica, our battery will help the Belgian electricity grid maintain its target frequency and stay in balance.

“We look forward to how the project will open the way for Google to deploy battery-based energy storage technologies across our other facilities, reducing reliance on fossil-fuel-based backup generation and providing flexibility to the grid to enable increased integration of renewable energy.”

Paul McCusker, Fluence SVP & President EMEA, commented: “We are excited to partner with Google to deploy this reliable, zero-emission power system to help them replace conventional diesel generation, provide critical backup energy, and increase the sustainability of the St. Ghislain data centre. Fluence looks forward to accelerating the data centre industry’s efforts to reduce emissions while ensuring high performance and reliability for their facilities and the local power grids.

“The collaboration with Centrica highlights our commitment to working with the best route-to-the-market providers across all geographical locations to maximise the benefits for our client and develop a unique ecosystem that changes the way our customers power the world.”

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