Data Center Agreement Between Wärtsilä, Schneider Electric

By Jack Burke18 January 2018

Wärtsilä and Schneider Electric have signed a global co-operation agreement to bring together their individual products and services, along with those of third parties, for data center projects with at least a 10 MW electrical load.

Wärtsilä will provide power generation plants, while Schneider Electric focuses on energy distribution optimization.

Wärtsilä bills itself as a global leader in advanced technologies and complete lifecycle solutions for the energy markets, while Schneider Electric said it offers leading power management and automation systems and provides integrated efficiency solutions by combining energy, automation and software. Additionally, Schneider Electric said its data center physical infrastructure solutions set the company apart, and it continually pushes to develop and deploy technology and solutions like this one to advance the industry. Wärtsilä’s gas-fired engine power plants provide an alternative energy source for data centers. Schneider Electric provides a specific solution for distribution network management and power management in medium voltage, low voltage and secure power, and grid automation and via its IT infrastructure solutions.

By collaborating in the field of data centers, the two companies said they will be able to propose optimized, cost-effective end-to-end data center power plant architectures, providing a reliable and secure power generation and distribution system including full renewable backup power. The gas generator based backup power system has a fast start-up time of only 40 seconds.

Wärtsilä said its medium speed internal combustion engines offer highly efficient, sustainable and cost-effective power compared to traditional backup diesel generators.  Redundant engine capacity can be used to sell electricity to the grid, opening a new business model for data center operators. Thanks to the efficiency of the gas engines, they provide power to the data center at a lower price than grid electricity, the company said. Switching to natural gas can also significantly reduce the carbon footprint of a data center.

Data center operators will benefit from this collaboration so that they will be able to achieve a major reduction of their carbon footprint, save data center energy costs, and obtain financial returns with smart power generation assets,” said Javier Cavada, president, Wärtsilä Energy Solutions. 

“Innovating with a strong partner like Wärtsilä drives us at Schneider Electric to deliver the most advanced and sustainable end-to-end solutions for energy management at data centers and power plants. With the end-customer’s needs in mind, we are confident that mutual value is created every step of the way in a potential market that wants to optimize existing assets, remain operationally efficient and contribute to climate-friendly solutions,” said Frederic Godemel, Energy senior vice president, Schneider Electric.

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