Data Centers and Power Consumption

From the explosion of Facebook to the Smart Grid and the rise of autonomous vehicles, the world is rapidly digitizing. The amount of data is exploding even as the value of accessing data in real time is increasing.

This dynamic is resulting in a need for larger and more powerful data centers to store and process information.  More and more companies are outsourcing to large and centralized cloud data centers around the globe. However, although the cloud itself is intangible, data centers exist in the physical world and they require increasing amounts of clean, affordable, and reliable electricity.

Meanwhile, many power grids are dealing with aging infrastructure, carbon issues, reliability and cost concerns. Growing quantities of intermittent renewable resources – principally wind and solar – add to the challenge. These are all concerns for data center operators and it is why an increasing number have migrated north, with companies such as Facebook even going so far as to locate north of the Arctic Circle.

Utilities and grid operators must be aware of the growing needs of data centers and offer cost-effective, low-carbon and reliable solutions. Fortunately, there are solutions both at home and overseas to help address these issues.

Learning Outcomes

  • Review the dynamics contributing to the massive explosion in data, as well as the various types of data, their relative value and latency requirements, and what that implies for the power grid
  • Review grid reliability issues as they affect datacenters and associated industries, including economic costs of downtime
  • Describe some of the datacenter companies in the space, their relative business models, and the relative advantage of relocating datacenters to northern, hydro-dominated locations
  • Discuss various reliability back-up technologies
  • Discuss the relative advantages of the northern hydro-dominated markets such as Quebec, Iceland, and the Nordics


EUCI has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).  In obtaining this accreditation, EUCI has demonstrated that it  complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Authorized Provider status, EUCI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 0.2 CEUs for this event.



Participants must be logged on for the entirety of the webinar to be eligible for continuing education credit.

Instructional Methods

A Web-based PowerPoint presentation.


The Explosion of Data, How It Is Being Used, And Implications for Grid Infrastructure
  • A review of the growth of data, latency issues, and future trends
  • A discussion of pressures being faced by CIOs, including carbon, cost, and reliability
The Cost of Downtime and Resulting Data Center Strategies
  • An examination of datacenter downtime frequencies, causality, and economic exposure, with specific examples
The Challenge For Utilities and Grid Planners
  • The options available to data centers:
    • Reliability
    • Carbon
    • Operating Costs
  • Options for data centers shopping to relocate, including costs, reliability issues, and other considerations for:
    • Quebec
    • Iceland
    • Norway
    • Sweden
  • Possible utility retention strategies, including
    • PPAs
    • Demand response
    • Efficiencies

Back-up technologies


Peter Kelly-Detwiler, Principal, NorthBridge Partners

Peter Kelly-Detwiler currently advises technology companies and customers concerning the integration of energy-consuming and producing assets into the power grid. He has 27 years of experience in the electric energy industry, with 15 years as an executive in competitive retail markets, since their inception in 1997. He served in various functions within the industry, including Director of Customer Care (East Coast) for NewEnergy Ventures. Prior to NorthBridge, he was Sr. Vice President of Constellation Energy’s Load Response group. In this function, he created this unit and oversaw its growth to become a business with approximately $80 mn in revenue, capable of dispatching 1700 MW of customer load.

Mr. Kelly-Detwiler lectures frequently, has appeared on public television, and is also a frequent contributor on energy-related issues (over 240 posts) to In this latter capacity, he has written on topics related to wind, storage, electric vehicles, shale gas, LEDs and numerous other issues. He has interviewed executives from dozens of companies and helped to provide context and meaning in the discussion of new technologies and market developments. As a consultant, he has provided strategic support to Fortune 100 companies such as Nike and GE, and advised leading companies and start-ups in the renewable energy space.


You can purchase a recorded stream of this event instead of the CD-ROM version.

Event Standard RateAttendees
On-Demand Download US $ 295.00

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