Echelon Data Centres currently has six data centre campuses operating or in development in Ireland and the UK. With plans to develop further capacity in the UK and mainland Europe.
Echelon promotes the concept of ‘Grid Citizenship’ and is commited to working with the grid operators to enhance transmission infrastructure and ensure security of supply.
To achieve this, Echelon is developing on-site energy centres with power generating capacity in excess of the requirements of our data centres, and which will allow power to be dispatched to the grid at times of peak demand. These energy centres will also support back-up battery arrays across our data centre campuses, removing the meed for more polluting diesel generators.
Echelon Data Centres has planning permission in place for (100MW) energy centres on the majority of its Irish data centre sites – DUB10, DUB20 and DUB40.
The energy centres will be gas-fired initially, although they will be capable of running on alternative fuels, such as hydrogen, as they become commercially available.
They are not intended to replace energy from the grid in powering the data centres – and will not operate constantly.
At times of peak demand, however, the energy centres will be able to dispatch power to the grid, ensuring security of supply.
They will also be used to charge battery arrays for back-up power and to supplement the data centres’ requirements when grid supply is constrained.
Echelon Data Centres DUB20 site is located near to SSE Renewables’ Arklow Bank Windfarm Phase 2 off Ireland’s east coast.
Echelon Data Centres and SEE Renewables will construct a 220KV substation on the site, enabling up to 520MW of wind energy to be brought ashore and reach the electricity grid.
The substation will also provide power for the data centre infrastructure on the DUB20 site.
Green hydrogen can be created by using renewable energy at times of low grid demand to electrolyse seawater for hydrogen and oxygen.
Echelon Data Centres will have access to renewable energy at its DUB20 site when the SSE Arklow Bank Wind Farm comes online, and is looking at the potential for H2 generation onsite.
We have also signed a partnership deal to locate a biogas digester on the DUB20 site. Biogas produced from agricultural waste can burn in most appliances without any conversion process and, after ‘cleaning’, can be fed directly into the gas grid system.
The by-product of ‘cleaning’ the biogas for insertion into the system is CO2 – which can be used by the food industry or in greenhouse agriculture.
The ‘digestate’ that remains after the gas has been generated is a sterile, non-chemical, high-uptake fertiliser which can be supplied to farmers instead of expensive chemical nitrogen products.
All Echelon Data Centres sites will have battery arrays with capacities ranging from 120 to 400MW, with 3.5hr autonomy.
At DUB20, the batteries will be charged by surplus renewable energy when the Arklow Bank Wind Farm Phase 2 comes online. At our other sites, the arrays will be charged by on-site energy centres.
The batteries will be used to support the grid at times of peak demand and may also be used as back-up power – providing the means to reduce, and even eliminate, reliance on diesel back-up power.
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