Collaboration will contribute to a more robust power grid
Article published in Norwegian on 25 April 2021
Fortum Spring is a platform that enables businesses to monetize their flexibility. By making short changes to their power consumption, they will make money while helping our grid to withstand more.
We are heading towards a fully electric society, where some times of the day we will use a lot of electricity at the same time. This is comparable to rush hour traffic from Oslo on a normal working day. Then there is often a queue and everything can stop completely. If the electricity consumption is higher than the grid can carry, the power supply does not work properly and it can turn black.
Until now, we have largely solved the problems by reinforcing the power grid. This is very costly. With Fortum Spring, this can be solved easier and more affordable. It's about smoothing out the tops and bottoms.
The technology behind Fortum Spring
Now Fortum enables anyone with energy storage systems, such as a data center, to share some of their power capacity when the power grid is becoming congested and they are not using it themselves. The technology that makes this possible is Fortum Spring. The technology acts as a virtual battery, where customers' flexible consumption is collected and can be used to meet the variations in the load in the grid.
"This can help generate large revenues for companies, a more robust electricity grid and make it possible to develop even more renewable energy," says Stefan Bergsten, Country Manager for Fortum Spring in Norway and Sweden.
DigiPlex - first flexibility customer in Norway
Recently, Fortum entered into a three-year agreement with DigiPlex, which develops and operates data centers. DigiPlex has been doing this for just over 20 years for Norway and six years in Sweden – which are the two countries that Fortum Spring is offered in.
"At our data centers, we have backup power with battery banks. When the mains is pressed, we have the opportunity to supply power from our batteries and remove the load in the grid for small periods to avoid power outages. It's only 10-30 seconds. We do not get interruptions in our operations, and once the mains is stabilized, we are back on the grid and recharifying the battery banks. Fortum Spring is responsible for the technical solution," says Halvor Bjerke, COO of DigiPlex.
"It is important to take advantage of the opportunities available in the system to get as stable a power grid as possible. To succeed with a robust power grid, we need these services. DigiPlex's data centers contribute to a durable system," says Bergsten.
DigiPlex's renewable energy will mainly be offered to the FFR market – the Fast Frequency Reserve. It is a reserve that is activated very quickly to prevent frequency drops below 49.7 Hz in the event of major failures in the power system.
Nordic system operators, such as Statnett, Fingrid and Svenska kraftnät, have agreed to acquire FFR in national processes to ensure the stability of the Nordic power system. FFR is the fastest of the support services with batteries that are very suitable. There are several data centers participating in the FFR market.
We are very proud of the collaboration
"We are very proud to have partnered with one of the largest developers and operators of data centers in the Nordic countries. It is particularly exciting that we will also work with DigiPlex in several of our other business areas, such as portfolio management of electric power and the trading of renewable energy," says Daniel Lega, Business Manager at Fortum.
"We see DigiPlex as a very interesting and important customer for us. They are one of the largest data center providers in the Nordic countries. Together with DigiPlex, we will now offer and sell their flexibility from their data centers to the Nordic system operators Statnett in Norway and Svenska kraftnät in Sweden," says Bergsten.
DigiPlex already collaborates with Fortum and Stockholm Exergi on energy recovery of surplus heat from DigiPlex's data centers in Oslo and Stockholm.
DigiPlex has been a pioneer in sustainable data centers from the very beginning, and has understood that the benefits of a digital economy cannot come at the expense of the environment.
"Now we look forward to going live with the latest collaboration where together we will contribute to a more robust power grid," says Bjerke.
Read the online article in Norwegian