Phoenix Arizona is to get a “microgrid” data center - a facility which has its own power generation which uses the utility grid for backup, alongside conventional UPS, thanks to a deal between the local electricity utility (APS) and data center firm ADC.

Arizona Public Service (APS) and Aligned Data Centers (ADC) announced their partnership this week in the creation and use of a new data center microgrid, which at 63MW will be one of the largest microgrid power deployments in the country. For those unfamiliar with the technology, a microgrid, as defined by the company General Microgrids “is a discrete energy system consisting of distributed energy sources (including demand management, storage, and generation) and loads capable of operating in parallel with, or independently from, the main power grid.”

phoenix arizona thinkstock photos lavi37
– Thinkstock / lavi37


With data center power redundancy firmly in mind, the under construction 69kV enhanced substation at the center of the microgrid will be fed power from three different sources to allow operation to continue in the event of a failure from any of the connected power generation systems.

Jakob Carnemark, CEO of Aligned, pointed out that while Aligned is working closely with APS to design a microgrid capable of providing high quality, highly reliable power to their new data center to meet the needs of of the enterprise customers and hyper-scale service providers they expect to be occupying the new data center they will still be providing UPS and generator infrastructure to guarantee power delivery to the facility.

ADC expects the new facility to be the largest multi-tenant data center in Arizona and expects that their unique data center design, coupled with heat-removal technology from sister company Inertech will allow them to guarantee a PUE of 1.15, even in the water-starved Phoenix area with its average daily temperatures over 75°F (24°C).