The Role of Microgrids in Data Centre Sustainability

September 2, 2021

In days past the only real consideration for a data centre operator was reliability. With the emergence of climate change that has now transformed, and sustainability of the digital infrastructure is crucial leading to a new lexicon – sustainable resilience. For data centres security of supply and cost are two crucial metrics. The power grid is under increasing pressure to meet the growing demand, struggling with ageing infrastructure allied with a changing dynamic that sees the old, centralised generation model replaced by a growing amount of distributed generation, much of this from renewable sources. Modern microgrids can assist data centres by delivering onsite, distributed energy resources, including renewable generation. A microgrid can help optimise costs while also enhancing power stability, includes the option to ‘island’ from the utility grid to avoid exposure to outages or disturbances.

Sessions from this talk

Microgrids are often referenced in the context of local power generation and storage for reduced carbon and utility cost reduction, but an advanced microgrid design can also provide ultra-high resiliency using cleaner natural gas or bio methane, as well as support grid services to further reduce costs.
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As the world becomes increasingly focused on both efficiency and sustainability, data center operators and infrastructure suppliers have the opportunity and obligation to adopt energy resource management technologies that will support real change. Power is one of the largest operating costs in modern data centers – surpassing 50 per cent in some double-digit MW facilities. Combining locally generated power, energy storage, analytics, forecasting, and economic optimization to select energy and grid services can help to create more efficient and environmentally friendly operations. In this session, hear how Vertiv helps operators meet their CSR goals, overcome grid instability and optimize operating costs.
The sustainability train has left the station and data centers are trying to figure out on how to get onboard. Tenants of hyperscalers demand more sustainable operations, and several hyperscalers have already set bold targets. How to achieve them remains the challenge. Microgrids, or on-site sustainable energy resources that can work in conjunction with the grid, promise to offer greater resiliency, cost benefits and sustainability. This presentation will provide the audience with an overview of the various technologies, possibilities and lays out a viable path forward.

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