An HVO first in Belgium

By Jack Burke27 June 2023

Cat engines will run exclusively on the renewable fuel at a data center

Engines at a 13.5 MVA standby power solution in Belgium will be fueled exclusively by 100% hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO) fuel--a first for the country.

Caterpillar said LCL Data Centers, the operator of five independent data centers in Belgium, has commissioned the power solution at its LCL Brussels-West data center in Aalst, making it the first data center in the nation to use biofuels for standby power operation.

Facility planners for LCL leveraged the expertise of engineering experts from Eneria, the local Cat dealer, to design, install, test and commission the solution, which consists of six Cat 3516B diesel generator sets.

Caterpillar said a new 13.5 MVA standby power solution for the LCL Brussels-West data center in Aalst that operates exclusively on 100% hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) fuel, making it the first data center in Belgium to use biofuels for standby power operation. (Image: Caterpillar)

Eneria will also provide ongoing maintenance and service under a Cat Customer Value Agreement (CVA). Through fully customizable CVAs, Cat dealers assume responsibility for the on-site maintenance and service of power solutions, enabling customers to focus on running their enterprises.

“We were delighted to receive the request from the data center specialist LCL to ensure its emergency power generators operate on HVO100, a renewable diesel fuel. We tested the operation of Cat generator sets with traditional diesel, HVO100, and a blend of these fuels. We concluded that the power and reactivity performance of the generators remained the same regardless of the fuel used,” said Tim Bisson, director of Eneria Belux, a specialist in renewable energy supply and emergency power installations in Belgium.

Propelled by the success of the project in Aalst, LCL plans to convert the standby power solutions at all its data centers to operate on HVO over the next two years.

The standby system was installed as part of a €15.5 million expansion that tripled LCL’s footprint in Aalst while achieving the Uptime Institute’s Tier III certifications for design and construction.

“For over a decade, Caterpillar has enabled operation on renewable fuels that helps our customers achieve their climate-related objectives, said Bart Myers, vice president for Caterpillar’s Large Electric Power Division. “The standby system installed by Eneria for LCL demonstrates the powerful combination of our advanced technologies, the expertise of the Cat dealer network, and a forward-looking customer-driven perspective to make a difference.”

The initiative to use HVO for standby power reflects LCL’s deep and growing support for sustainability. In 2021, LCL joined the Climate Neutral Data Centre Pact, a self-regulated initiative by dozens of European data center operators and trade associations to achieve climate neutrality by 2030. As part of this program, LCL joined the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in November 2021 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its data centers.


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