Fortum and Telia have signed a collaboration agreement to connect the Helsinki Data Center (HDC) to the electricity market. Through the collaboration, HDC’s Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) systems manufactured by ABB will take part in balancing production and consumption fluctuations in the electricity market.
The number of data centers in the Nordic countries is expected to increase significantly in the upcoming years, so it is important that the data centers operate as eco-consciously as possible and have the ability to be active participants in the energy system.
“The Fortum Spring virtual battery solution is cost efficient. The solution utilises the customer’s existing assets to support the power grid without jeopardising the main purpose of the equipment -- securing the supply of power for critical processes. This enables a return on investments that traditionally haven’t generated a positive cash flow. At the same time, we are driving the development of the Nordic electricity system towards a cleaner future,” notes Ilari Alaperä, Business Development Manager at Fortum.
Power from batteries
In a normal situation, the power from the batteries of the HDC’s UPS equipment is used in the balancing of the power grid. If a power outage or other exceptional situation occurs, the batteries will still be used to cover the data center’s electricity demand before the back-up power generators start operating. The deployment and testing of the system took place in summer; since the end of summer, Telia’s data center has contributed several megawatts of capacity to Fingrid’s Fast Frequency Reserve (FFR) market as part of the Fortum Spring’s virtual battery.
Electricity production and consumption must be in balance at all times. The increasing production volume of intermittent renewable energy, like wind and solar power, creates challenges for the grid. Traditional production forms can help to accommodate the changes in electricity production and demand, but other means are also needed. UPS systems and their batteries offer very quick regulating power, and they are an ideal fit for the power reserve maintained by Fingrid. Power can be drawn from the batteries in milliseconds without any delays. If a major disruption occurs in the balancing of the grid, Telia’s UPS equipment will respond within a few hundred milliseconds and help in recovery from the disruption.
Support to the power grid
“Utilising HDC’s UPS equipment in the electricity market is an important part of a modern data center and the mitigation of environmental impacts. By participating in the reserve market, we can promote more renewable energy by providing support to the power grid,” says Development Manager Harri Vilonen from Telia.
“This is what responsibility is all about. The uses of the technology are expanded and more benefits are gained from a single investment. It’s great that we have green electricity in Finland, and its support is ensured also in this kind of innovative way. Here at Telia Helsinki Data Center, our activities are strongly driven by green values and the modern technology epitomised in these kinds of projects – thus enabling us to be part of an important solution to securing renewable electricity,” notes Leila Podduikin, Sales Director, Telia Helsinki Data Center.
“We are pleased that the innovative, truly modular UPS systems developed by ABB support Telia’s goal to operate as a part of the fast reserve market as well as bring added value for Telia while helping to build renewable energy in Finland. ABB Oy has long supported safe, smart, and sustainable electrification; this project is a fine example of that,” notes Timo Kontturi, Director, ABB Data Center Sales.