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Eaton UPS-as-a-Reserve Proven in Data Center Pilot

Norwegian data center uses Eaton UPSaaR to balance grid during power plant failure

November 7, 2018

ESPOO, FINLAND… Power management company Eaton has announced the successful pilot of the first live data center to use its UPS-as-a-Reserve (UPSaaR) solution for Fast Frequency Response. Basefarm, a Norwegian data center company, trialled the service as part of a project led by Statnett, a Norwegian transmission system operator, and Fortum, a leading energy provider in the Nordic and Baltic countries. The project showed how power consumers can also help ensure a stable power grid and was completed in summer (Q3) 2018.

As part of the project, Basefarm data center’s Eaton 93PM and Power Xpert 9395P UPSs were upgraded with UPSaaR functionality. This enables data center operators to work with energy providers to momentarily reduce the power demands of the data center and even return power to the grid. This is a major step forward in enabling energy providers to deliver more robust power systems based on greener energy, which is harder to predict and ensure a consistent supply. Alongside performing their primary functions to protect critical loads, the UPSs were now capable of providing 1.5 MW of capacity. A data center could potentially earn €50,000 per MW of power allocated to grid support per year, depending on the local market.

“This project has proved in a live data center, during real power failures, that a UPS is the fastest-acting reserve and capable of helping energy providers to balance the grid, while still performing its primary role to protect data center loads,” said Jussi Vihersalo, Manager, Business Development, Eaton.

During the pilot, the UPSs were tested for real during a power plant failure that caused instability in the grid. The data center reserves were the quickest to activate, providing the desired power impact in far less than the required two seconds, and faster than other reserves connected to the grid, such as pumps, industrial consumption and electric vehicles.

Ilari Alaperä, Business Development Manager at Fortum, said, “The Pilot project was very useful, especially considering the real-world scenario of a power plant failure. It shows that power consumers can contribute flexibility in the system, making the use of renewable power more robust.”

Ketil Hjort K Elgethun at Basefarm Data Center explains, “As a major consumer of power, we have a responsibility to contribute towards greener energy. Eaton’s UPSaaR enables us to work directly with energy providers to make renewables a more robust part of the power ecosystem, by building on our existing investments into UPS.”

The pilot has proved that energy storage in data centers is a viable and fast-acting means of reserve to balance power grids and does not impact the UPS’s primary function of securing data center loads. Eaton has now completed successful UPSaaR pilot projects in grids in the UK and Scandinavia. Consequently, the UPSaaR is ready to be offered to demand response markets as a retrofit solution or as inbuilt functionality in new data centers.

Eaton is a power management company with 2017 sales of $20.4 billion. We provide energy-efficient solutions that help our customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power more efficiently, safely and sustainably. Eaton is dedicated to improving the quality of life and the environment through the use of power management technologies and services. Eaton has approximately 98,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 175 countries. For more information, visit



Vera Grishchenko
PR Manager Electrical Sector EMEA,,
Tel: +44 1753 608 851