Business model of highly available power as a service

Data centers are increasingly becoming complex energy systems. To deliver the availability that IT customers demand, data centers invest a majority of their capital in redundant electrical infrastructure, such as UPS batteries, diesel generators, and dual power feeds as well as redundant switchgear. Aside from the capital intensity of such infrastructure, it is creating potentially unnecessary duplication of infrastructure. Delivering reliable electrical power to society and industry, in principle, is the responsibility of the energy system – utilities as well as distribution and transmission system operators (DSOs and TSOs).

To increase efficiency, reduce unnecessary infrastructure, and ensure that all electrical infrastructure integrates well into the overall electrical power system, we propose that it should be energy companies that expand their product portfolio and offer power with an availability guarantee. This would free data center operators from the responsibility of managing complex electrical infrastructure as well as reduce the capital need for building digital infrastructure.

Energy companies are uniquely suited to handle this availability risk. Specifically, they have:

  • Unique insight and data on the stability of the grid;
  • Ample experience in managing and guaranteeing availability for an entire country and society;
  • Vast resources and technology to manage risks and avoid outages; and
  • Opportunities for "value stacking," meaning using infrastructure (such as batteries) for multiple business models – from grid stabilization/ancillary services to sharing infrastructure amongst different stakeholders.

At the same time, many manufacturers of electrical infrastructure for critical infrastructure are also interested in improving their products to support such value-stacking approaches. A collaboration between energy companies and manufacturers can unlock additional value while delivering a better service to data centers.

We believe this solution, which spans multiple industries, can deliver a more sustainable proposition, with less waste, and a higher total utility for the energy and digital infrastructure system at large.

Roadmap Activity:
Zero-Pollution Backup Power and Cooling Systems
Business model of highly available power as a service
Business model of highly available power as a service

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Mark de Hoop
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Mark de Hoop

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