Data Center and Microgrids

Data Center and Microgrids

According to Uptime Institute’s 2022 Global Data Center Survey, more than 60% of data center operators have reported a power outage over the past three years. Not only can these outages cost operators and their customers tens of thousands of dollars per minute, but they can also have a larger impact on critical infrastructure that is increasingly reliant on the internet and connected devices.

To avoid outages, data center operators are investing heavily in improving the resilience of their physical infrastructure. Many are now going beyond temporary power solutions and exploring the benefits of solar and microgrids.

The internet is an essential tool of the modern world, and the data centers and servers that comprise the backbone of the internet have become critical infrastructure.

With more than 5 billion people online every day (and nearly 20,000 new internet users every hour), access to the internet is increasingly essential. Many of the systems that businesses and the public depend on rely on digital systems to function.

Worldwide, the estimated 7 million data centers that underpin the internet consume roughly 3% of the global electricity supply and represent nearly 2% of total greenhouse gas emissions.

With so many people and systems interconnected through the internet, disruptions and downtime at data centers have widespread impacts that can shut down critical systems, disable infrastructure and ripple through the economy.

When downtime is measured in the tens of thousands of dollars per minute, the value of resilience is much more immediate and tangible, leading many data center owners and operators to explore microgrids for resilience and cost savings.

Often caused by either loss of grid power or failure of onsite power equipment, these disruptive events are not rare. More than 60% of data center operators have reported an outage in the past three years, according to Uptime Institute’s 2022 Global Data Center Survey.
The cost of an outage at a data center can range from a few hundred dollars for a small business to tens of thousands of dollars per minute at a large “server farm,” making the need for improved energy resilience as much about economics as performance for customers.