Demand-side response (DSR): is it all pain and no gain? Is it too much of a risk? Or can it be achieved safely with the right support? Suppliers of DSR services and technology claim mission critical sites can participate in DSR schemes without adding risk to critical facilities and that revenue opportunities are significant.
Some data centres are now starting to come on board with DSR, although it has taken some time to convince the sector to engage with DSR schemes. Companies such as Verity, Eaton and GridBeyond (formerly Endeco Technologies) are all now working with data centres, as well as other mission critical sites, to take advantage of the revenue opportunities and to help ensure long-term resilience by supporting the grid.
Power management company Eaton has announced the first pilot project of its recently launched UPS-as-a-Reserve (UPSaaR) solution. Svenska kraftnät, a Swedish electricity transmission system operator, has selected the Spring service by Fortum, a leading energy provider in the Nordic and Baltic countries, and Eaton’s UPSaaR to trial how the technologies help to balance Sweden’s power grid.
Eaton’s UPSaaR technology, which launched at the end of 2017, is the first of its kind for the data centre industry and enables operators to earn from their investments in UPS, while helping energy providers balance sustainable energy demands. It enables data centre operators to immediately respond to grid-level power demands to keep frequencies within allowed boundaries to avoid grid-wide power outages. This is a major step forward in delivering greener energy, as renewable energy is harder to predict and production can be more volatile – making it harder for energy providers to balance electricity supply.
Svenska kraftnät has selected the service for a pilot project researching the utilisation of energy storage for demand flexibility. Starting in the first quarter of 2018, Fortum will offer 0.1 MW of UPS capacity to Svenska kraftnät’s frequency-controlled disturbance reserve. This reserve activates automatically and quickly if there is a drop in the electricity network’s frequency.
“Svenska kraftnät has recognised the benefits of Eaton’s UPS-as-a-Reserve solution in helping stabilise the power grid,” says Jussi Vihersalo, business development manager, Eaton. “Sweden is at the forefront of renewable energy technologies and we’re convinced that it will be a model that other countries and organisations will emulate in the coming months and beyond. From an industry perspective, this news is the next step in enabling data centre operators across the region to offer their capacity back to the grid.”
Mike Byrnes, director data centres, Eaton EMEA, is urging more UK data centres to consider coming on board: “With data centres currently responsible for 3 per cent of global energy use, we’re seeing an industry-wide push to move from traditional sources to using more green power reserves. As experts predict that data centres will consume roughly treble the amount of electricity by 2027, data centres need to consider implementing technology which could accelerate green energy production. Providing more ﬂexibility to the grid will do just that. Faced with exploring those alternative energy sources, UK data centre operators also have to consider how best to future-proof their own operations and ensure sufficient – and sustainable – power for them and their customers in future,” he concludes.
So are you turned on or turned off by DSR? Please take a few minutes to complete our survey and have your say! We want to your views so that mission critical sectors can gauge whether they are ahead of the curve, falling behind their peers or justified in their hesitation. The report will be launched at The Energyst event. Click here to complete the survey.