SRP prepares grid to support new technology systems
A unique partnership between Salt River Project and BASELAYER, the advanced data center hardware and software company born within IO, will provide an innovative approach to supporting the addition of critical data centers in the Valley.
Data centers support modern computer technology information systems such as the Internet. They are also large consumers of power, and require an extremely reliable power source. Through advanced technology solutions, data centers are now being built to support the industrial Internet and fuel the success in the new Internet of things.
SRP intends to deploy BASELAYER’s modular data center technology in locations near its existing electrical infrastructure where they can be connected directly to the energy grid. SRP sees the new concept, to be named SRP DataStations, as a solution that would allow for data center growth with minimal impact to the community in relation to new power line construction.
“SRP has a long and rich history of forecasting future community needs while planning for them today,” said Mark Bonsall, SRP’s general manager and chief executive officer. “Investments and partnerships made by SRP over the past century in infrastructure such as dams, reservoirs and canals, as well as the electrical grid, have resulted in low-cost and reliable supplies of water and energy.
“Like the need for water and power, the future need for information could have a similar economic impact on the Valley and, as such, is worth evaluating and planning for.”
Similar to power stations on the power grid, Bonsall said SRP DataStations will play a critical role as a hub on the computing grid of the future. By leveraging these assets, SRP could build its DataStations where highly reliable power and telecommunications intersect – such as near power stations. These SRP DataStations would then be populated with modular data centers, which will provide a quick and modular growth model for data center expansion.
“That will also reduce the cost for the operators and reduce the impact to the community since few additional power lines, if any, will need to be built as power stations have enough electricity to support existing growth at that location,” said Michael Lowe, assistant general manager and SRP’s chief customer executive.
SRP is working with BASELAYER to deploy the first DataStation in 2015. The SRP DataStation will reside in close proximity to an existing power station with redundant, high-voltage power feeds and fiber optic cables. The SRP DataStation will contain BASELAYER’s latest modular data center, specifically designed for this grid-integrated application.
By connecting these redundant power feeds directly to the modular data center, the data center will receive such a high level of power reliability that backup power infrastructure may not be required. If the prototype performs as planned, Lowe said SRP DataStations could be available for commercial placement of modular data centers in the near future.