Intelligent Data Centres Issue 49 | Page 22

New data centres need to show greater creativity and be savvy and flexible in achieving diversity of supply to reach their required capacity endpoint .
the grid isn ’ t so demanding , with solar generation and batteries in the mix .
Each new data centre ’ s solution might look different to what I ’ ve just described . Either way , it would require an integrated mobilisation plan , which accounts for where energy will come from and when . Such a plan would need to demonstrate more resilience to the grid via on-site or own generation .
Renewables will undoubtedly play their part , so let ’ s consider the options .
Hierarchy of renewable needs
At a recent DCA event , I introduced a pyramid showing the renewable options available in the market in the form of Maslow ’ s Hierarchy of Needs , showing the progression to better and more developed renewable options the further you go up the pyramid .
All the options detailed here are included in the hierarchy from the mid-section to the top – where all options deliver additionality , meaning they add energy to the grid rather than further stressing an already stretched system .
• In the mid-section are Corporate and Hybrid Power Purchase Agreements ( PPAs ). These are similar in nature – the only difference being a hybrid is procured through an energy supplier where the main energy contract is combined with the renewables contract rather than directly with a developer .
• A Time of Use PPA is a new development in the market that aims to match when renewable energy is produced to actual demand in the period . For example , solar energy can only be matched to demand during the day rather than smeared across the 24-hour period as it is now . This is currently in a trial phase , which Noveus Energy is participating in with one of our customers . The UK Government is keen to see these types of initiatives established in the renewable space .
• A hot area is Private Wire , such as direct connections to solar farms . The financials are solid , so if you have a site next to a large plot of land , there is no shortage of developers wanting to get involved and I strongly urge you to investigate opportunities .
• At the top of the pyramid – the holy grail in renewables – is onsite generation like a solar plant or rooftop solar .
The constraints of the UK grid should be a central consideration for new data centre developments and those looking to increase supply .
Renewables should be your friend , with on-site self-generation at the top of the hierarchy to ensure a secure energy supply .
But renewables can also address a host of other pressures you ’ re likely experiencing .
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