Power Grid

21 Aug 2020

German Power Grids Spend 750 mln Euros as Frankfurt Adds Data Centres

21 Aug 2020  by Reuters   

German electricity grid and utility firms on Thursday said they will spend 750 million euros ($888 million) on boosting networks to meet more power demand from data centres in the Rhine-Main region around Frankfurt, which houses the world's biggest internet traffic hub DE-CIX.

More power is also required to digitalise the German energy industry's transition to reliance on volatile green power, and to support the mass arrival of electric cars.

Data streams have especially increased in the coronavirus crisis to facilitate office work and entertainment at home.

Avacon, part of the E.ON group, city utility Mainova and grid operator TenneT said the money would go into new cabling and substations to level out voltage differences around the city and ship higher power volumes.

"We need to increase current transmission capacity by 50% over the next seven years," the board chairman of Mainova, Constantin Alsheimer, told a press conference.

The joint initiative will boost the capacity of the city's power grid to 1,500 megavoltampere (MVA) from 1,000 MVA now.

The additional 500 MVA represents usage of a town with 500,000 inhabitants, Alsheimer said.

Frankfurt is granting permits for its own data centres because the quality of such centres improves when they close to customers to achieve what experts call low latency.

It has gained 100,000 inhabitants in 20 years and apart from banks, houses Germany's stock exchange, Europe's fourth biggest airport and trade fair facilities.

"We must be prepared because we expect even more data turnover," said Hesse state's economy minister, Tarek al-Wazir.

DEC-CIX on a lockdown day in March saw flow speeds of over 9.1 terabits per second (Tbit/s), a global record, its website said.

German power grids are refinanced via network usage fees, which are monitored by the country's regulator and paid by consumers as part of their bills.

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