Echelon Data Centres recognises that in the short to medium term, as the industry moves towards genuinely renewable and environmentally friendly operation, ‘halfway house’ solutions will be required to mitigate against ageing and overburdened grid infrastructure.
At Echelon’s DUB10 and DUB40 sites, gas-powered energy centres will be constructed, connecting via grid-administered substations, through an energy distribution facility (containing battery arrays for back-up purposes) to the data centre buildings.
While the gas powering the energy centres – which will only be run as required and not on a constant basis – is a source of carbon emissions, it is less impactful than traditional diesel generation, which will not be part of the data centre’s operations.
Echelon’s DUB20 site will be the location of an AD/biogas generation facility, another short-to-medium term solution to use of fossil fuels and overloaded grid capacity. The gas produced would be used in one of two of ways:
Waste heat from the DC (and from CHP generators) would be used to facilitate the AD process, and to dry the by-products to produce valuable fertiliser for agriculture. Cleaning the gas for injection into the gas grid produces quantities of CO2 which could be used to help establish greenhouse fresh produce operations, also located on the data centre campus.
At Echelon’s LCY10 site, located in London’s Docklands, plans to use the adjacent dock resource as a heat exchange will reduce the energy consumption of the data centre, with a resultant impact on harmful emissions and localised heat pollution.