Data Center Tactics: Dedicated Substations

As power reliability comes to the forefront, owners of mission-critical facilities need their fears about outages assuaged. Thus, purveyors of data centers are now adding above-standard electrical capabilities to their inventory of special systems. Exodus Communications, which in February opened its tenth Internet data center (IDC) in California's Silicon Valley, noted that it had "built ...

06/01/2001


As power reliability comes to the forefront, owners of mission-critical facilities need their fears about outages assuaged. Thus, purveyors of data centers are now adding above-standard electrical capabilities to their inventory of special systems.

Exodus Communications, which in February opened its tenth Internet data center (IDC) in California's Silicon Valley, noted that it had "built a dedicated electrical substation that will supply power to the new IDC and future facilities in Santa Clara."

"As we continue to expand to meet customer demand, the new electrical substation will provide us with a reliable source of power for our new IDC," said Ellen Hancock, chairman and CEO of Exodus.

Going even further—at least in the planning—is US Dataport, with plans for a campus in San Jose, Calif., that would be the size of 10 to 20 average "server farms" or data centers. The company intends to have an onsite power plant dedicated to serving the mega-data center.

Data Center Meeting

Electric Utilities and Internet Hotels/Data Centers: Building the Infrastructure for the New Economy was the name of an event that brought together developers, electric utilities, zoning officials and consulting engineers.

Sponsored by the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), the February meeting dealt with power-supply questions and difficulties raised by data centers. Electric utilities "often have to make huge investments in generation and transmission infrastructure to support these facilities," said Steve Kiesner, director of national accounts for EEI. "How these will be paid for was a key discussion topic."

Kiesner notes that while a data-center developer may request 5 or 10 MW for a new data center, initially the facility may actually need only 1 or 2 MW.

"Developers want power to be supplied quickly and 99.9999 percent reliable," said Kiesner. "Utilities want safety concerns addressed, financial protections for their other customers and some security on their investment."

EEI plans a follow-up conference for early fall. For information, email skiesner@eei.org .

From Pure Power, Summer 2001.





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