High energy users such as data centres are realising the potential benefits of deploying gas-fuelled combined heat and power (CHP) plants in the UK. For data centres as there is a primary requirement for cooling rather than heating – combined cooling and power (CCP) – using absorption chillers to convert surplus heat to cold water that can be utilised in their process. This trigeneration technology enables the data centre to reduce operational costs, carbon emissions and in parallel generate stable supplies of power that can be relied upon. Gas engine based captive power plants not only offer the ability to deliver energy security, they can also improve energy efficiency and environmental performance.
One of the data centre projects undertaken by Clarke Energy is Citibank Data Centre, which was one of the first of its kind due to The UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) backing its first project in the financial services sector. The investment was made by GIB’s fund manager Sustainable Development Capital (SDCL). The project reduced Citi’s costs and its greenhouse gas emissions and makes a meaningful contribution to reducing the data centre’s running costs. It also provided cooling for the servers housed in the data centre. Citi previously used mains electricity from the national grid and relied on back-up diesel generators.