Microgrid to Enable Phoenix Data Center to Unplug
Electricity transmission pylon near Figueres, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Microgrid to Enable Phoenix Data Center to Unplug

Future Phoenix data center by Aligned will be able to run independently of utility grid

An Arizona utility is building a 63MW diesel-powered microgrid in the Phoenix area that will enable a data center currently under construction to disconnect from the utility grid during high-congestion periods or other grid problems.

The utility, Arizona Public Service, designed the microgrid together with Aligned Data Centers, the subsidiary of Aligned Energy that’s building a 500,000-square foot data center in Phoenix.

The project is a variant of demand response, where utility customers get offline during peak load periods in exchange for incentives from the utility.

APS will control the diesel generators that will power the microgrid remotely, according to a report by The Arizona Republic.

When it isn’t powered by the microgrid, the data center will receive grid power from a new substation being built nearby, which will be fed by four power lines connected to three different energy sources.

This is Aligned’s second data center project. The company brought its first data center online last year in Plano, Texas, featuring a modular cooling system design that enables it to scale capacity up and down, charging customers only for the capacity they use, a model used by cloud service providers but not common for physical data center services.

The cooling design is developed by Aligned’s sister company Inertech. The data center provider said it will use a similar approach in Phoenix.

Read more: Modular Cooling System Enables On-Demand Data Center Capacity

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