California’s Silicon Valley data centres want clean alternatives to replace back-up diesel generators, and several industry players say hydrogen can be the answer.
Hydrogen’s ability to provide lengthy energy storage could prove critical for California having experienced so many problems with reliability, a scenario that’s far from ideal for Silicon Valley industry that relies on electricity to keep its servers running.
Hydrogen fuel cells occupy less space than batteries, they’re reliable, quiet and 100% zero-emission.
Diesel generators have provided backup power for an growing number of data centers in California in the last few years, with 10,000 diesel-fired engines permitted in the Bay Area, 25% of which pre-date the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards according to Jakub Zielkiewicz, district climate advisor
With plans for 15 new data centre facilities in the pipeline, collectively requiring 1.5GW of potentially polluting back-up diesel power, the future is decidedly cloudy.
“Why not get ahead of the curve now and install cleaner technologies, rather than potentially having to foot the bill for an expensive retrofit in, say, five years, or 10 years, or 20 years?” Zielkiewicz said.
Given California’s larger grid reliability issues and regular deployment of wildfire-related power shut-offs, back-up generation could continue to play a key role, for which Hydrogen could be the ideal solution.
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By Tim Daukes.