Data centers have their own intense, unique power needs. Energy solutions provider CPower Energy Management announced new solutions to help data centers maximize the value of their distributed energy resources (DERs) through demand-side energy management programs.
CPowered Performance Solutions for Data Centers helps these sites achieve power reliability, sustainability goals and energy cost savings through:
- an engineer-level facility assessment that looks at when, where, and how often a site uses energy in its daily operations;
- a comprehensive curtailment action plan covering the full range of possible event and test curtailment scenarios a facility may encounter;
- a 24/7/365 grid monitoring team who acts as the link between a data center site and the wholesale and utilities responsible for maintaining the electrical grid, who can give advanced notice when there is an imminent grid emergency;
- the CPower App, which delivers data for individual facilities across different energy markets and offers access to vital historical usage data by year, month, week, day or minute; and
- facilitating the enrollment procedures for each utility program or wholesale power market to ensure cost savings and new revenue streams are realized.
Data centers can become virtual power plants
With technology companies becoming the largest purchasers of green power, many in the data center industry have the opportunity to leverage demand-side energy management programs that optimize idle DERs – such as energy efficiency, generator sets, uninterruptible power supplies and solar PV – to maintain reliability during extreme weather or other grid stress-tests. In doing so, a data center campus can become a Virtual Power Plant (VPP), generating revenue by being a flexible resource to help balance the grid, ensuring no downtime to a site’s operations or to its customers’ businesses as well as increasing the resilience of homes and businesses in the surrounding community.
“Qualifying and broadening energy programs to include demand-side energy management participation means ensuring the safety and security of a site, and of a community, by reinforcing grid reliability during peak demand events,” said KC Mares, Director – Data Centers, CPower. “CPowered Performance Solutions ensures that we have a granular understanding of a site and what’s most important, making energy management programs easy to implement and goals easier to achieve, all without causing disruption to a site or its customers’ businesses.”
In addition to achieving resiliency benefits, data centers can leverage demand-side energy management to help achieve their sustainability targets. CPower can analyze the marginal carbon reduction – the emissions savings as a result of a site’s decision to reduce electricity load at a particular time – to help data centers who participate in demand-side energy management programs report the resulting emissions avoided.
The company announced that Digihost, a blockchain technology company primarily focused on bitcoin mining, avoided nearly 150 metric tons of marginal CO2, with just 29 hours of demand response participation at its facility in Buffalo, New York. This is the equivalent of mitigating more than 164 tons coal burning avoidance or sequestering 182 acres of US forests for one year. Digihost’s site reduced marginal carbon emissions by 5.1 tons per hour of demand response participation – the equivalent of 5,637 tons of coal burned per hour. CPower works with Digihost and other data center and critical sites through its partner, EnergyMark.
“Digihost, through its DigiGreen initiative as well as being a signatory on the Crypto Climate Accord, is committed to achieve net-zero emissions from electricity consumption by 2030. Partnering with CPower to participate in Demand Response programs has been a great way to reduce carbon emissions, while also providing reliability to the electric grid on peak days of demand. At Digihost our goal is to be a part of the transition to 100% renewably powered blockchains, and accelerate the growth of renewables throughout North America,” said Luke Marchior, Chief Renewable Energy Officer, Digihost.
“As an industry, data centers have prioritized energy efficiency. While this has demonstrated modest progress in reducing emissions, there is more that can be done for data centers to use energy more responsibly and drive decarbonization,” said Mares. “The size of the data center industry alone is large enough that reducing its power demand can drive a meaningful emissions reduction, as we work towards a cleaner and more dependable energy future. Measuring the impact of demand-side energy management programs offers a straightforward way for data centers to further demonstrate their commitment to sustainability.”
The analysis was conducted by CPower in partnership with WattTime, an environmental tech nonprofit that empowers all people, companies, policymakers, and countries to slash emissions and choose cleaner energy.
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We have a ton video interviews and additional content on our YouTube page. Recently we debuted Power Forward! -- a collaboration with BayWa r.e. to discuss higher level industry topics as well as best practices / trends for running a solar business today.
Our longer running side project is The Pitch -- in which we have awkward discussions with solar manufacturers and suppliers about their new technology and ideas so that you don't have to. We've discusses everything from residential rail-less deck attaching and home solar financing to large-scale energy storage value stacking and utility-driven new home solar + storage microgrids.
We also post our Project of the Year announcements there! Interviews with this year's winners will be up starting the week of Nov. 8. Head there and subscribe today to stay on top of all this extra stuff.