How Big Batteries at Data Centers Could Replace Power Plants
The cutting edge in American efforts to green the power sector can be found in a shipping container sitting in the parking lot of a sprawling @Microsoft Corp. data center in southern Virginia. A team of engineers assembled here to conduct a series of tests to simulate the interaction between a data center and a grid operator. Their question: Can extensive battery systems installed at #datacenters like this one be used to help grid operators smooth out the small spikes and drops in electric demand that occur throughout the day? It’s technical, tedious work, but the implications for the electric system are sweeping. If they succeed, power companies might not need to build new natural gas power plants. Directly powering data centers with the wind and sun becomes a real possibility. Microsoft engineers even talk about reimagining the way electricity is bought and sold.