Securing Diesel Delivery in Disasters

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If a major disaster leaves you without utility power for days, will you be able to get refills of diesel fuel for your generators?  Digital Realty Trust isn’t taking any chances. The company has signed an exclusive agreement with Foster Fuels to provide  emergency fuel delivery for generators at any of Digital Realty Trust’s Turn-Key data center facilities in the U.S.

Digital Realty, which is the world’s largest landlord of data center facilities, said the new service was “unique in the data center industry” and will ensure that its customers can keep their facilities online even during lengthy utility outages.

The scenario is not without precedent. After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York, the Telehouse carrier hotel facility at 25 Broadway experienced diesel fuel shortages and generator problems that left its customers offline for more than two days. In the 2005 aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans colocation provider Zipa had to scramble to find diesel fuel at a time when the city was without power.

Digital Realty Trust (DLR) is seeking to address those type of worst-case scenarios with the agreement with Foster Fuels, which allows Digital’s Turn-Key Datacenter customers to obtain emergency fuel emergency fuel within 24 hours.

The turn-key program, in which Digital Realty delivers finished space to customers, represents a minority of the company’s leased footprint. But the two companies are discussing the possibility of expanding the program to all Digital Realty Trust U.S. facilities.

The agreement allows Digital Realty to arrange for pre-staging of generator fuel to support uninterrupted fuel delivery “even in disaster situations with complex logistics.”

“Digital Realty Trust’s facilities house critical operations for our customers and this agreement with Foster Fuels ensures that customers can stay up and running on generator power even during prolonged utility power outages,” said Ted Martin, Vice President of Technical Operations at Digital Realty Trust. “Foster Fuels has built a very strong reputation for its emergency fuel oil services and it has the resources, operations and protocols to support the specific needs of datacenter customers. We are proud to be the first company in the data center industry to offer this kind of service.”

Foster Fuels has provided emergency fuel support for hospitals, local governments ansd federal agencies such as FEMA during major disasters, including hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. The company said its nationwide operations can provide  fuel support in each of the markets where Digital Realty Trust operates data centers.

“Emergency fuel service is an area we specialize in and we have the contracts, relationships and dedicated equipment to get fuel to our customers when they need it,” said Watt R. Foster Jr., President of Foster Fuels. “In addition to serving Digital Realty Trust and its customers, we are the prime contractor responsible for providing ground fuel support during National Declared Emergencies in support of Department of Homeland Security/FEMA. We have long-term relationships with major oil companies around the country that provide availability of fuel supply from a variety of sources and locations. We also have dedicated equipment, trucks and staff solely for our emergency fuel service. If anybody can make it happen during an emergency, Foster Fuels can.”

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor-in-chief 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.

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