The key feature of the installation is the speed of activating and deactivating computers. When you use dips, they can quickly increase activity. When it peaks, they can slow down at any time.
This kind of flexibility, Ameren says, can be increasingly valuable in the modern electricity grid, where electricity supply and demand are now subject to greater fluctuations. Solar panels and wind turbines produce more in sunny and windy conditions. And demand is also becoming more variable. For example, when the sun goes down, houses with rooftop solar installations may suddenly need electricity from the grid.
The company’s data center project cost around $ 1 million to install and has been running since April. Ameren said it was installed in Sioux due to the space available and was not exclusively connected to the coal-fired power plant as a source of power.
But even though it gets its energy from the global electricity grid, the region is full of electricity from coal, which accounts for about two-thirds of Ameren’s production. And Missouri, overall, burns more coal than any state except Texas, according to the latest government data.
The data center can use half a megawatt of electricity, if it is operating at full capacity. By comparison, the 54-year-old Sioux plant, the third of Ameren’s four coal-fired plants, has a production capacity of 972 megawatts.