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Identifying Datacenter Prospects for Renewable Energy


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Identifying Datacenter Prospects for Renewable Energy

Electricity from renewable power sources is transforming the U.S. electricity grid in ways few would have anticipated just a few years ago.[1] Companies have plans to bring nearly 72 gigawatts of wind and solar plants online in 2020, a considerable increase from recent years. This multinational energy company is a prominent owner and operator of renewable energy plants in the U.S. that are powered by hydropower, wind, geothermal and solar energies. The company is focused on expanding its footprint in geographies and technologies across the country to take advantage of this transformation. The commercial office is charged with assessing opportunities for sustainable power at commercial and industrial sites and wanted access to information that could help identify areas of high demand to support ongoing sales initiatives, plus inform the company’s investment decision-making.

Pain Points

Enterprises, particularly larger global companies, are seeking more reliable, sustainable, and economical energy sourcing approaches to satisfy their business needs, along with corporate sustainability initiatives.[2] Datacenters are heavy energy consumers, so sourcing electricity from renewable generation can be a major contributor to reducing a firm’s overall carbon emissions. To take advantage of this trend, the commercial office wanted to put together detailed lists of datacenter prospects for its sales team. The lists would help prioritize the largest power consumers located near the company’s current generating assets, and help assess where future investments could make sense. It was taking an enormous amount of time to aggregate this datacenter information from disparate sources, however, so the commercial office wanted to identify a reputable provider that could streamline the data gathering and analysis process. The team reached out to S&P Global Market Intelligence (“Market Intelligence”) to discuss the firm’s offering.

The Solution

The commercial office was a user of Market Intelligence’s energy solutions, which was helping the team evaluate regional supply and demand, new capacity build opportunities, and the shifting regulatory landscape in the U.S. marketplace. 451 Research is a technology research group within Market Intelligence, offering a Datacenter Knowledgebase that tracks more than 2,770 datacenter sites within the U.S.[3] The information is compiled from primary research gathered at site visits, briefings, and surveys, providing comprehensive datacenter intelligence. Market Intelligence explained that this could complement its energy solution and help the commercial office:

Gain a full picture of the U.S. leased datacenter market. The 451 Research Datacenter KnowledgeBase covers colocation and wholesale datacenter facilities across the U.S., with 100 data points per facility, including location, facility type, services provided, capacity, and current utilization. It also lists a number of prospective builds. This enables users to compile lists of attractive prospects, showing a site’s name, owner, address, and current or likely future megawatt power usage.

Combine datacenter-specific data with detailed energy data. From project tracking data, to financials, forecasting, and commodity pricing, Market Intelligence’s U.S. energy solution covers the entire industry: power, utilities, renewable energy, oil and gas, and coal. Complementing this with rich details on datacenters can provide users with greater insights into how current and planned datacenter locations are connected to the energy grid and where there might be sales opportunities or potential new investments.

Visualize the market with a custom mapping tool. Extensive datacenter location data enables users to create maps to quickly zero in on datacenters in a particular area and evaluate their power purchasing trends. Combining this with Market Intelligence’s U.S. energy data enables users to create detailed regional maps of power plants, transmission lines, and datacenter information.

Key Benefits

The commercial team felt that the combination of energy and datacenter-specific information would provide a powerful solution to support its ongoing sales activities and strategic expansion plans. In particular, the team felt the solution would help:

  • Save time and improve efficiencies with ready access to datacenter information that is proprietary, compiled via multiple means, and hard to find elsewhere.
  • Provide a better sense of where clusters of datacenters are located with detailed mapping capabilities.
  • Create better target list for sales professionals by including datacenters that could be missed without having mapping capabilities that show they are close to other clusters in major locations.
  • Arm sales professionals with details on a datacenter’s operations before making contact.
  • Help support expansion plans by providing more clarity about addressable demand by location to determine how best to deploy resources.ower plants, transmission lines, and datacenter information.

[1] All statistics from: “The 2020 US Renewable Energy Outlook”, S&P Global Market Intelligence, December 10, 2020.

[2] “Smarter Datacenter Energy Procurement Can Improve Sustainability While Lowering Costs”, 451 Research, 2018.

[3] Data as of June 2020.

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