Vantage Data Centers to continue deploying renewable diesel in generators
Vantage Data Centers, a leading global provider of hyperscale data-center campuses, announced Sept. 13 the continued deployment of hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), also known as renewable diesel, to replace conventional diesel fuel in generators.
The company said it will roll out HVO in several of its largest markets in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Leveraging HVO offers an actionable opportunity for Vantage and other data-center operators to take a positive step toward reducing carbon emissions.
Initially deployed as a pilot at Vantage’s Cardiff, Wales, campus in 2022, the company’s deployment of HVO as an alternative to diesel fuel yielded progress toward its carbon goals without the need for new or updated infrastructure.
Given the success of the pilot, Vantage officially implemented HVO at its newest facility, CWL13, on the Cardiff campus and is currently working to deploy the renewable fuel throughout the rest of the campus.
In addition, Vantage will deploy HVO in one of its North American flagship markets, Santa Clara, California, by the end of the year.
Vantage is planning deployments in additional markets subject to fuel availability.
“Making the switch to renewable diesel is one of the many ways we are reducing the carbon emissions of our operations,” said Amanda Abell, senior director of sustainability at Vantage. “Reaching net zero by 2030 is an incredibly ambitious goal that will require us to implement a wide variety of solutions. Our focus is on maintaining reliability and affordability while achieving emissions reductions. We look forward to continuing the rollout of HVO at our campuses across North America and EMEA, where available, in addition to the other programs we have in place to reach our sustainability targets.”
The broad launch of hydrotreated vegetable oil comes as the company progresses toward its sustainability goals.
The use of renewable diesel fuels significantly reduces the embodied carbon of the fuel consumed in diesel generators, which helps to reduce scope 3 emissions associated with the company’s supply chain.
According to fuel suppliers, the use of HVO reduces lifecycle-carbon emissions by 65 percent to 90 percent compared to conventional diesel.
In 2022, Vantage partnered with the Data Center Coalition and its members to lead a technical working group focused on driving market support for HVO as availability and costs vary by geography.
Based in northern Virginia, where HVO prices are approximately 95 percent higher than diesel fuel, DCC seeks to influence the supply chain and stakeholders to unlock increased availability.
“Vantage is working with industry through the Data Center Coalition to accelerate the viability and use of renewable diesel fuels,” said Mark Freeman, vice president, global marketing and public policy at Vantage and Data Center Coalition board member. “By collaborating and sharing information with peers, it helps the entire sector move faster. It is our hope that through partnerships we can convince policymakers, stakeholders and supply chains of the HVO benefits and enlist their help in achieving the widespread production and distribution of the renewable fuel in markets that lack reliable, cost-effective and timely access today.”
DCC President Josh Levi added, “There is strong industry interest in transitioning from diesel as quickly as is practical. While there are no ‘silver bullet’ technological solutions available today to replace backup diesel generators at scale, data centers are actively seeking and evaluating alternatives that can provide environmental sustainability benefits and similar reliability, fuel availability, siting flexibility and workplace-safety protections. We are seeing widespread interest in leveraging hydrotreated vegetable oil as an alternative to conventional diesel. In fact, a recent member survey found that 92 percent of respondents are interested in piloting renewable diesel in the northern-Virginia market within the next one to two years. We’re pleased to see support for this sustainable fuel and will continue to work closely with member companies as we advocate to speed the viability and availability of alternative, reliable sources for backup energy.”
In addition to Vantage’s continued rollout of HVO, the company is also implementing generator runtime-reduction measures to eliminate the creation of emissions from the start.
By using an optimized, staged implementation of testing and maintenance procedures, Vantage anticipates achieving a 25 percent to 75 percent reduction in fuel consumption and associated emissions.
Vantage is also installing active emissions-control systems known as selective catalytic reduction (SCR) units on generators in select markets.
SCR systems reduce nitrogen oxide emitted from the company’s diesel generators by up to 90 percent.
SCRs are already installed at many facilities across Vantage’s Warsaw, Berlin, Frankfurt and California campuses with additional installations planned for the future.