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Pre-empting Power Procurement



CBRE’s European Data Centres Q2 report indicates that colocation vacancy across the region sank to a new low in Q2, falling to 15% from 17% in Q1. This is despite record-levels of supply, with a further 103MW set to come online in Q3 and Q4 in Frankfurt alone.

According to CBRE, the vast majority of this supply is already accounted for, suggesting the sector is becoming steadily more forward-thinking in its approach to planning. With this in mind, Aggreko is warning that a similar approach should be taken to power procurement in order to avoid energy shortages later down the line.

Billy Durie, Global Sector Head for Data Centres at Aggreko Northern Europe, said: “The severity of the vacancy issue illustrates why priorities are shifting across the continent, with the fact Frankfurt’s vacancy rate is set to drop to 6% by the end of 2022 being particularly eye-opening. Taking this into account, it is understandable that data centre operators are signing pre-lets increasingly far in advance in order to secure a place in the market.

“Around 113MW of take-up has already been recorded in Q2, while CBRE forecasts that 178MW of pre-lets signed in previous years will be realised in 2022. Taking this into account, it follows that operators should take a similarly proactive approach to securing their power supply, in order to circumvent any issues that could arise once supply is granted.”

This development follows the introduction of a number of restrictions on data centre construction and power procurement across Europe. In Frankfurt, the city council has issued a draft development plan that could hamper data centre development in a number of key areas.

In the wider FLAP-D market, EirGrid has placed 30 applications for potential data centres on hold in Dublin, while power-hungry data centres have even been cited as the cause for a potential ban on new housing developments in West London.

Aggreko’s recent report The Power Struggle – Data Centres outlines the long-term issues surrounding energy procurement in full. The report also highlights the potential for flexible energy models such as Hired Energy as a Service (HEaaS) to alleviate these challenges, allowing facilities to meet their energy demands through on-site power generation.

Durie concluded: “The rapid evolution of the European data centre market necessitates a forward-thinking approach, in regards to securing both colocation supply and energy supply.

“Here, the adoption of flexible energy models such as HEaaS will allow data centres to avoid energy shortages once their pre-lets come online, helping to secure their place in a market that grows more competitive each year.”

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