Google: Google replaces diesel at its St. Ghislain, Belgium data center

Apr 25, 2022 | Posted by MadalineDunn

Google has announced that it is replacing some of its diesel backup capacity at its St. Ghislain, Belgium data center, with a 2.75MW battery system from Fluence. This announcement aligns with Google's public pledge to use entirely carbon-free energy by 2030 by reducing its emissions. The batteries, which can store 5.5MWh of energy, will be connected to the grid by Centrica and will use Centrica's FlexPond software to store and discharge energy. 

Marc Oman, senior lead of data center energy and infrastructure at Google, explained that this development will enable the giant to operate more cleanly during grid interruptions. He added: "Through our collaboration with Centrica, our battery will help the Belgian electricity grid maintain its target frequency and stay in balance."

In a statement, Google said battery-based energy storage is a "quickly deployed, cost-effective, and low-emission" solution that increases the resilience of commercial and industrial facilities while also "supporting system-wide decarbonization and energy security goals across Europe and worldwide."

In a  Google Cloud corporate blog post last week, the company said: “We have now fully installed and tested the battery and are preparing to use it to support the Belgian grid. This will advance our clean energy goals in Belgium, but what we are most excited about is the potential to scale battery-based technologies across our global portfolio of data centres."

Commenting about Google's switch to batteries, Arno Van Mourik, Director of Centrica Business Solutions International: "There are an estimated 20 gigawatts of backup diesel generators in service across the data center industry, representing a massive opportunity to deploy cleaner solutions. Managed correctly, we can not only support data centers to operate more sustainably, but also deliver grid-scale flexibility - balancing the volatility of renewable energy, in support of a 100 percent zero-carbon energy network of tomorrow."

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