SRP tests way to power Internet data centers from electric substation

Technology has invaded the nation over the past decade, and staying connected means increasing demand for digital infrastructure.

The Internet relies on data centers, buildings that store and process all the information.

“All of these things are driving expansion of the Internet physically,” said Clint Poole, manager of SRP Telecom. “That means more telecommunications cables. More data centers. More data centers bring more power lines.”

That has SRP testing a technology that puts a data center at Gilbert substation, a placement that the utility says provides more reliable electricity and avoids stringing power lines to a center located elsewhere.

“Because of the power reliability, you need less power infrastructure to support the reliability requirements,” Poole said.

SRP teamed up with BASELAYER, a Valley technology company, on the test in Gilbert.

SRP spokesman Jeff Lane said the utility is staying ahead of the curve.

“This is the first time this is being done in the world where a modular data center has been plugged into essentially an SRP power station,” he said.