Automotive giant Nissan and power electronics and engineering group Eaton have installed an energy storage system at a data centre run by IT and cloud computing firm Webaxys’ in Normandy, France.
Data centres currently account for 1.5-2% of worldwide electricity consumption and this is growing fast. The nature of data centres means that they cannot afford to have power outages, which makes the use of intermittent renewable energy to power them a particular problem. However the new storage solution overcomes this issue by providing power on demand.
The storage solution, which uses second-hand Nissan electric vehicle batteries, will help to integrate local renewable energy generation at the Saint-Romain de Colbosc Eco Park and allow for surplus energy to be sold back to the grid. Meanwhile, Eaton’s power supply capabilities will help to manage the data centre.
Webaxys now plans to open a series of regional data centres that use the same technology.
Gareth Dunsmore, director of electric vehicles, Nissan Europe, said: "This installation at Webaxys marks an important historical moment for data centres in their quest to become energy autonomous in the near future. By combining Nissan's expertise in vehicle design and reliable battery technology with Eaton's leadership in power quality and electronics, we hope to demonstrate that data centre energy management can be stable, sustainable and cost efficient in the near future."
Eaton and Nissan announced their partnership at the COP21 climate Summit last year aiming to combine electronics and ordering software with renewable energy production and storage in one system. Nissan’s used electric vehicle batteries can also be reused in these systems.
Nissan is piloting another innovative use of electric vehicle-based energy generation by enabling owners to sell spare electricity in their vehicle’s battery back to the national grid.