Ireland’s Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) has set out plans to change the way grid connection of data centres are processed following concerns over the rapid rise in demand from the sector.
Although the regulator recognised the benefits of the data centre sector to the country’s economy, it raised concerns over the “disproportionate impact” the growth in electricity grid connections is having in comparison to other sectors and said intervention is needed to “maintain the security of the electricity system”.
In this context on 8 June, the CRU said it is minded to issue a Direction to the System Operators (EirGrid and ESBN) regarding the processing of connection applications and subsequent connection of data centres at both the transmission and distribution levels of the electricity grid.
Under the plans, the system operators would be required to prioritise applications from data centres that are able to generate enough energy to support their electricity demand, can be flexible in reducing their consumption at times of system constraint, or are built in locations where power networks are not constrained.
The CRU’s proposed direction is open to consultation until 7 July.
Mark Davis, GridBeyond’s Managing Director UK & Ireland said:
“The growth in the numbers and size of data centres is putting increased pressure on the grid, particularly in the Dublin area, where demand is the highest. If the proposed regulations are taken forward, this would encourage the development of data centre away from the Dublin area, providing a welcome economic boost to other locations.
“It is good news that the CRU has highlighted the potential for data centres to self-generate required energy and to offer flexibility services to the grid. Given their load requirements, siting data centres closer to, or co-locating with sources of power generation could not only speed up the connection process but provide a long-term revenue stream for the business.”
GridBeyond works with global data centre brands to provide demand side response and battery solutions, whilst ensuring zero down-time and a guarantee that customer service level agreements will not be impacted. Using our AI-powered energy technology, GridBeyond controls energy consumption in data centres for participation in demand side response programmes, peak avoidance, energy optimisation and energy trading.
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