Equinix, a digital infrastructure provider, and Digital Realty, a real estate investment trust company, have applied to set up new data centers in Singapore in accordance with a government framework under trial that aims to manage the development of green data centers.
Following the lifting of a moratorium Singapore had imposed in 2019 to halt the release of land for the construction of data centers, applications for new data center developments reopened in July and closed on November 21.
The Straits Times reported that during the moratorium, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the Economic Development Board (EDB) drew up new criteria, under a pilot, on greener methods of operation to reduce harms on the environment.
Operators of new data centers must comply with this pilot’s requirements, which include using sustainable energy sources, more effective cooling methods, and a power use effectiveness (PUE) of at least 1.3.
Although there is no cap on the number of applications that will be approved under the pilot, the overall capacity allotted is anticipated to be approximately 60MW, according to the local authorities.
Data centers are essential for the Internet and its applications because they provide services like online data transit and digital file storage. However, they also consume a lot of energy to cool and power servers.
“Given the depth of customer demand and the size and scale of our global platform, we believe we can comfortably support development of the entire 60MW,” Mr Lucey said.
Green DC Operations
Equinix is currently conducting a pilot project in Italy to evaluate hydrogen-ready fuel cell technology. If the project is a success, Equinix aims to employ these fuel cells over its whole worldwide network.
Equinix is also testing the use of hydrotreated vegetable oil, a liquid fuel that can cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90% when compared to diesel.
According to Ms Leong Yee May, managing director of Equinix South Asia, all of their Singapore data centers use cutting-edge technologies to increase efficiency and are entirely powered by renewable energy sources.
“While data centers provide the foundation that powers Singapore’s expanding digital economy and smart nation aspirations, industry players have the responsibility to ensure that digital transformation is done in a sustainable way,” Ms Leong said.
Digital Realty on the other hand plans to deploy modular Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) systems, turbine generators, lithium-ion batteries, and solar rooftops to ensure green operations.
Digital Realty has also teamed with CoolestDC, a National University of Singapore spin-off, in order to benefit from cutting-edge cooling solutions and boost the effectiveness of data centers.
The hybrid cooling system used by CoolestDC flows liquid through pipes to a system of cold plates that are connected to a server chassis. This helps the company in learning how to modify current air-cooled data centers to support liquid cooling.
The technology has been tested in Loyang, the site of Digital Realty’s newest data center, and can be easily implemented in all of the company’s other air-cooled data centers.