Power Shortages Constrict UK Data Centers

Several recent stories from the UK highlight how power availability has become a critical issue in some areas, which is affecting decisions about what kind of data center to build, and where to build it.

  • A power shortage in Manchester has prompted data center operator UK Grid to develop plans to generate its own electricity. The company may invest at least 4.5 million pounds (about $9 million) in combined heat and power plants for a new facility. The company said that if it didn’t build its own generating capacity, its growth would soon be hindered by electric supply problems. UK Grid has two existing facilities on Manchester Science Park, which it expects to fill within nine months. Power capacity restricts further growth in the area.
  • Investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort is relocating its London data center from the Docklands, citing the cost and availability of power at the city’s data center hub. The bank will move its data centre operations to a new Tier IV facility in Watford. Rising energy bills certainly influenced our plans. “There is a shortage of power and we have planned the new datacentre so it is not only efficient, but resilient when it comes to power consumption,” John Bratkovics, Dresdner Kleinwort’s global head of networks, told Computing. The availability of power in London is also being influenced by construction of facilities for the 2012 Olympics.

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.