Amazon Web Services test driving Tesla batteries in data centers

By Rachel King for Between the Lines | May 1, 2015 Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 8.39.50 AM

Tesla turned up the spotlight earlier this week with a portfolio of new power-fueling (and hopefully power-saving) innovations for homes and businesses.
The California car maker often garners attention through the cutting-edge designs and breakthroughs demonstrated predominantly through its lineup of electric vehicles.

Many of today’s small businesses and startups have become leading-edge adopters and innovators in technology because they are not chained to big, legacy systems. We look at tech best practices and transformative opportunities for the small companies that make up such a big part of the business world.

Now premium motor company founded by Elon Musk is infusing that energy into somewhere a little less flashy but all the more needed these days: data centers.

Among those already sampling Tesla’s battery innovations is none other than one of the largest data center managers worldwide: Amazon Web Services, recently boasted to be a $5 billion business by company founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.

Describing itself as “not just an automotive company” but rather a “an energy innovation company,” Tesla touted how it is utilizing some of the same architectures and components in its electric vehicles and bringing them to energy storage systems.

Namely, Tesla is experimenting with integrating batteries to power electronics, thermal management and controls for wrangling them together for a turn key system.
“Tesla’s energy storage allows businesses to capture the full potential of their facility’s solar arrays by storing excess generation for later use and delivering solar power at all times,” the Palo Alto, Calif.-headquartered business asserted. “Business Storage anticipates and discharges stored power during a facility’s times of highest usage, reducing the demand charge component of the energy energy bills.”

James Hamilton, a distinguished engineer at AWS, revealed that Tesla has already been testing running applications on Tesla’s high-capacity battery technology over the last year.

The hope, Hamilton explained, is that such energy efficient measures could encourage “widespread adoption of renewables in the grid.”

“Batteries are important for both data center reliability and as enablers for the efficient application of renewable power,” Hamilton wrote in prepared remarks. “They help bridge the gap between intermittent production, from sources like wind, and the data center’s constant power demands.”

AWS plans to roll out a 4.8-megawatt hour pilot of Tesla’s energy storage batteries, starting with its US West (Northern California) Region. AWS has four regions stateside (including one dedicated to government applications) with half a dozen more scattered around the globe.

Hamilton promised that the soft launch fits in with Amazon’s long-term strategy to eventually achieve a 100 percent renewable energy tech deployment rate across its global infrastructure.


About Five 9s Digital, LLC

Five 9s Digital is a data center real estate company offering data center development, investment sales, real estate advisory, and colocation and wholesale data center selection and procurement services. Five 9s Digital has been involved in the development and ownership of multiple mission critical facilities from single user build-to-suit facilities to multi-tenant data centers. Five 9s Digital brings a wealth of experience, background and expertise in providing solutions to the data center arena. Due to the specific and yet evolving requirements of mission critical end users in today’s world, Five 9s Digital is able to offer real solutions, real facilities, and real choices due its extensive and up-to-date knowledge base. Five 9s Digital is a Best Data Sites Certification Alliance™ member.
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