Pilot project explores grid balancing with UPS

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Eaton has announced the first pilot project of its recently launched UPS-as-a-Reserve (UPSaaR) solution. Svenska kraftnät, a Swedish electricity transmission system operator, has selected the Spring service by Fortum, a leading energy provider in the Nordic and Baltic countries, and Eaton’s UPSaaR to trial how the technologies help to balance Sweden’s power grid.

Svenska kraftnät has selected the service for a pilot project researching the use of energy storage for demand flexibility. Fortum will offer 0.1MW of UPS capacity to Svenska kraftnät’s frequency-controlled disturbance reserve. This reserve activates automatically and quickly if there is a drop in the electricity network’s frequency. Eaton’s UPSaaR technology gives data centre operators an opportunity to work with energy providers to momentarily reduce the power demands of the data centre and even return power to the grid. A data centre could expect to raise up to ¤50,000 per MW of power allocated to grid support per year.

Mike Byrnes, Eaton EMEA, commented: “Svenska kraftnät has recognised the benefits but it is not alone. Large data centre operators, including many in the UK, are sitting up and taking notice too.

“With data centres responsible for 3% of global energy use, we’re seeing a push to move from traditional sources to using more green power reserves. As experts predict that data centres will consume roughly treble the amount of electricity by 2027, data centres need to consider implementing technology which could accelerate green energy production. Providing more flexibility to the grid will do just that. UK data centre operators have to consider how best to future-proof their own operations and ensure sufficient – and sustainable – power in the future.”

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