: Microsoft International Data enter Battery-sharing

Feb 26, 2023 | Posted by Abdul-Rahman Oladimeji

Microsoft wants to duplicate a Dublin data center battery-sharing agreement. In 2022, Eaton unveiled a lithium-ion battery energy storage system (BESS) with grid-interactive UPS to exchange energy with the local grid. The corporation told a London conference that this technique was ideal for the Irish grid, where power restrictions limit data facility construction, but could be utilized elsewhere. Microsoft replaced its UPS lead-acid batteries in Dublin with lithium-ion batteries, reducing diesel generator requirements. The new BESS also permits regulated participation in EirGrid's frequency-regulation system, which routes electricity to the grid in short bursts. The Eaton UPS and Enel X BESS power the system. 

According to Energy Storage, senior program manager Dr. Christoph Mazur told the Energy Storage Conference EU in London this week that the technology could be used elsewhere after being validated in Dublin. Mazur said the method decarbonizes the Irish grid using stored energy when renewable energy sources are lower than demand. Tony Whittle, managing director of Enel X UK & Ireland, noted that fossil fuel facilities might be switched on to offer grid-balancing services, but this poses two issues. As older power plants expire, fossil power will decline, while intermittent renewable power supplies will increase the requirement for balancing. 

Batteries also provide superior short-term top-ups for a renewables-based system. “It's more like a dimmer switch,” said Whittle. 
Ireland seeks 70% renewable energy by 2030. Data centers utilize 10% of the country's power, which is expected to rise to 30% by 2030, slowing data center expansion. Microsoft's Dublin campus has 255MW of capacity and is building more this year under permissions given before Dublin's data center building limits. How much the corporation will share with the grid is unknown. Whittle wants UK data centers to use Ireland's "dynamic containment" frequency response technology.

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