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19 Jan 2024

Ramping down expenses: Vattenfall’s new pricing model for data centres

Vattenfall IDNO Stand: D32
Ramping down expenses: Vattenfall’s new pricing model for data centres

In our increasingly digital era, data centres are the titans of information flow. These large facilities, which store, process and distribute mass amounts of digital data, are extremely energy-intensive due to their reliance on constant server operation and security. To put it into perspective, a 100MVA data centre has the equivalent energy demand of 50,000 flats.

The energy consumption of data centres is projected to reach 20% of global energy usage by 2040, up from 3% in 2017. This rise is driven by technological advancements and increasing global temperatures, which intensify cooling demands. Primary drivers behind this surge include a continuous influx of new IT equipment being introduced to the market – necessary to keep pace with technological advancements; coupled with increased global temperatures, which impose a significant additional load on data centre cooling systems. 

The key to cost reduction 

Vattenfall, a leading network operator in Europe, has developed a secure model that supports developers with their capacity requirements. 

As an Independent Distribution Network Operator (IDNO), Vattenfall offers an innovative approach to this challenge with ramping rates: a unique offering that allows data centres to gradually increase their electrical capacity in alignment with growth, rather than paying upfront based on predicted future energy requirements. 

The traditional model for securing a grid connection involves paying for full capacity from the outset, leading to unnecessary expenses when the reserved capacity is not immediately utilised. Via Vattenfall’s ramping rates model, however, clients pay only for used capacity while reserving any additional capacity for future expansion at no extra cost. This approach can save up to 70% on capacity charges, significant for a data centre's operating expenses and fiscal prudence.  

For instance, a 250MVA hyperscale data centre in the UKPN – London GSP area could save £3.599 million annually by operating at 50% capacity at launch and utilizing Vattenfall's IDNO service. As data centres face power demands akin to heavy industries, Vattenfall collaborates with developers to plan substantial new capacity rollouts across the UK. These strategies consider the next decade's growth, showcasing the flexibility and long-term vision of Vattenfall’s services. 

An empowered future 

For data centres aiming for expansion, leveraging the new ramping rates model is a financially and operationally wise decision. It's not just a cost-saving measure, but an investment in a sustainable future. 

Bilgin Oralerkaya, Business Developer at Vattenfall, summarizes, "Our goal is to empower data centres to master their energy use, turning a fixed cost into a variable one that aligns with their growth trajectory." 

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