Saft helps Microsoft go diesel free

13 February 2024

Saft, a subsidiary of TotalEnergies, has delivered a battery energy storage system to replace diesel backup gensets at a Microsoft data centre in Sweden. The system can be seen as a key milestone on Microsoft’s path to diesel-free data centres by 2030.

The new battery system results from a collaboration formed between TotalEnergies and Microsoft in March 2021 to drive towards net zero goals.

Until recently, diesel gensets have been essential for maintaining data centre power continuity in the case of a grid outage. Running generators for backup and testing was seen as an unavoidable source of greenhouse gas emissions.

The new Saft-supplied battery system provides four independent groups of 4 MWh, providing up to 80 minutes of back up.

Saft deployed the BESS over 16 months, following Microsoft’s approach to data centre architecture. This focuses on safety and reliability by creating backup systems in groups that work independently to ensure a high level of redundancy.

As well as displacing diesel, the battery system helps to support grid stability and provides black start capability to support power grid recovery in the event of an outage.

“Finding alternatives to diesel backup is an important step towards our 2030 goal to become carbon negative, and is integral to our 2050 goal to remove from the environment all the carbon that Microsoft has emitted since it was founded in 1975,” says Eoin Doherty, General Manager, EMEA, Microsoft Cloud Operations & Innovation.

Saft delivered the battery system on a turnkey basis, with integrated power conversion and control equipment divided across the four independent groups. The scope included a total of eight Intensium Max 20 High Energy containers organised in the four groups, each capable of delivering a peak power rating of 3 MW.

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