The Environmental Potential of Hyper-Scale Data Centers: Using Locational Marginal CO2 Emissions to Guide Geographical Load Shifting

Date
2021-01-05
Authors
Lindberg, Julia
Roald, Line
Lesieutre, Bernard
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3158
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Abstract
Increasing demand for computing has lead to the development of large-scale, highly optimized data centers, which represent large loads in the electric power network. Many major computing and internet companies operate multiple data centers spread geographically across the world. Thus, these companies have a unique ability to shift computing load, and thus electric load, geographically. This paper provides a "bottom-up" load shifting model which uses data centers' geographic load flexibility to lower CO2 emissions. This model utilizes information about the locational marginal CO2 footprint of the electricity at individual nodes, but does not require direct collaboration with the system operator. We demonstrate how to calculate marginal carbon emissions, and assess the efficacy of our approach compared to a setting where the data centers bid their flexibility into a centralized market. We find that data center load shifting can achieve substantial reductions in CO2 emissions even with modest load shifting.
Description
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Distributed, Renewable, and Mobile Resources, data centers, flexible load, load shifting
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10 pages
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Related To
Proceedings of the 54th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
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