The challenge of staying ahead of the breakneck growth of the Internet by supporting a more reliable but less-intrusive expansion of critical data centers is about to be met head on by Valley-based companies Salt River Project and BASELAYER.
For the first time, starting here in the Phoenix metropolitan area, data center capacity has been installed at an existing electric substation and soon will begin to provide consumers with an unprecedented source of reliable power that is connected directly to the electric grid.
The prototype SRP DataStation™, a first-of-its-kind project for the next-generation data center, will begin operations this week at an SRP substation in Gilbert. SRP has committed to powering the DataStation with 100-percent renewable energy through its Renewable Energy Credit (REC) program. The REC program is available to all SRP commercial customers, including data centers, schools and any other corporations with the mission to make their business operations and buildings more environmentally friendly.
In addition, BASELAYER’s modular data center technology has demonstrated efficiency, resulting in 19-percent – $200,000 per deployed megawatt – reduction in energy consumption over traditional raised-floor data center environments.
After an initial pilot, the unique partnership between SRP, the largest provider of power and water to the Phoenix area, and BASELAYER, an advanced modular data center hardware and software company, will begin the next phase by deploying additional data center capacity in locations near existing electrical infrastructure across SRP’s 375-square-mile electric service territory.
The DataStation concept is projected by SRP and BASELAYER as an innovative solution that would allow for significant data center growth with minimal impact to Valley communities. By eliminating the need for extensive overhead power lines into commercial and residential territories, data center growth will now occur at the power substation – enabling local economic development efforts while providing customers with expansive, reliable power.
“Even though this is a pilot project, we believe the SRP DataStation will be a game changer,” said Mark Bonsall, SRP’s general manager and chief executive officer. “DataStations are really quite a revolutionary concept, and we are pleased that BASELAYER joined with us to bring this idea to life.”
CEO William D. Slessman said BASELAYER “shares SRP’s vision for delivering the most reliable, most efficient data center capacity available anywhere. SRP is truly setting a new standard for data centers that will enable continued growth in this critical industry while minimizing the cost and inconvenience of new transmission infrastructure.”
DataStations will eliminate the need for SRP to build new power lines to serve new or existing co-location or enterprise data center facilities, which takes both time and money and result in higher costs to SRP’s customers. And, by moving data centers closer to the transmission source, instead of at the endpoints of the transmission system, SRP can provide reliable power and reduced infrastructure complexity, resulting in cost savings for customers looking to effectively and efficiently run their business.
SRP anticipates that DataStations will play a critical role as a hub for the computing grid in the years to come. SRP plans to build its DataStations where highly reliable power and telecommunications intersect to deliver another critical resource to customers. These DataStations would then be populated with BASELAYER EDGE™ modular data centers, which will provide a “Just-in-Time” growth model for data center expansion. The EDGE product line is also ideally suited for the use case of True Utility Compute.
SRP DataStations will reside in close proximity to existing power stations with redundant, high-voltage power feeds and SRP’s diverse fiber optic cable network that spans 15 Valley cities and 1,800 miles. If the prototype performs as planned, SRP DataStations could be available for commercial placement of modular data centers in the near future.
Based in Tempe, SRP was established in 1903 as the nation’s first power and water federal reclamation project. SRP now serves more than 1 million electric customers in central Arizona while also overseeing a 240,000-acre water service area. SRP Telecom, a division of SRP, is a carrier-neutral provider of telecommunications infrastructure products and services to wireline and wireless carriers as well as to enterprise customers.
Chandler-based BASELAYER Technology, LLC provides advanced modular technology, infrastructure management software and big data analytics to bridge the gap between data center operators, IT and the enterprise’s customers – designed to simplify the data center and make it “smart.”