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RE: California electric power on the ragged edge
> Greg A. Woods > Sent: Friday, August 04, 2000 7:58 AM > > [ On Friday, August 4, 2000 at 12:19:05 (+0100), Alex Bligh wrote: ] > > Subject: Re: California electric power on the ragged edge > > Larger customers (data centers) can indeed use separate transmission > > arrangements if appropriate. The subway system here does deals > > power deals in London with dig (it self generates too), and > > so do various other slightly unexpected utilities. > > Would it make sense for a datacentre in Sunny Calif. to become its own > generating facility and of course to resell its excess power > back to the > grid? Burning diesel to generate electricity is obviously not cost > effective nor is it environmentally friendly when done in any > concentration, but perhaps a sufficiently large bank of solar > panels and > some wind power on the roof too, as well as a big enough bank of > batteries would allow someone to buy only cheap power overnight to top > up the batteries while the sun doesn't shine, selling excess > generation > capacity back to the grid when the sun shines bright while the wind > blows! I don't know what the economics of building a battery > bank that > big are though, not to mention the zoning regulations on > having big sun > and wind collectors might be.... Wouldn't work. Many have the large battery packs in their UPS systems. However, every Kwh you sell back reduces your power-fail reserves by that same amount. You would actually have to over-build reserve capacity in order to do this and still survive a power outage. Wind and solar power options are geo-physically dependent. In the Altamount pass, the windmills don't turn all the time and they use huge tracts of acreage. In the Silly-cone valley, most of them wouldn't run at all, ever. By the same token solar panels, for a data center, eat up much more square footage than is available (although covering every roof-top with solar panels might really add credence to the name "Silicon Valley"). In most other parts of the country, they have far too many cloudy hours, reducing duty-cycles substantially. There is also the issue of remembering what the core business is and avoiding dilution of efforts.