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Grid Integration & Speed to Market: New Utility Collaboration Frameworks

Michael Donohue  (Managing Director, Business Development, Cumulus Data)

Brett Collard  (Vice President, Corporate Development, Compass Datacenters)

Allan Schurr  (Chief Commercial Officer, Enchanted Rock)

Marcisha Adams  (VP, Power and Utilities, EdgeCore Digital Infrastructure)

Location: Room 201

Date: Wednesday, April 17

Time: 10:00 am - 10:50 am

Pass Type: AFCOM Solution Provider, All Access Conference, Industry Conference, Standard Conference - Get your pass now!

Track: Design, Build, Operate, Control

Session Type: Conference Session

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: All Audiences

The US market is expected to see data center demand reach 35 gigawatts by 2030, up from 17 GW in 2022. As the demand for data centers grows, there's a pressing need for data centers to reduce their impact on the grid. This involves a complex matrix of engineering challenges and opportunities that can only be effectively addressed through strategic collaboration between data center developers and grid operators.

Microgrids offer data centers the opportunity to not only address the concern of being a grid burden, but actually turn data centers into good grid citizens that actively contribute to the improvement of grid stability. By equipping data center facilities with microgrid systems, they can meet their resiliency needs with distributed energy resources (DERs), capable of reacting to grid conditions in real time to help mitigate outages and grid stress than can cause outages.

This panel examines the critical engineering considerations behind successful partnerships between data centers and electric utilities, with each new facility having significant implications for the power grid, local community and environment. With insights from infrastructure experts and utility representatives, we'll analyze frameworks for optimal power delivery, grid reliability and energy sustainability during the development of new data centers.


  • Grid Integration Best Practices and Speed to Market: Grid interconnection can take 5+ years in some areas, yet data centers that act as a grid asset are being integrated much faster.
  • Ensuring Reliability: Examine strategies to ensure ultra-high availability, while considering the unique power profiles of data centers.
  • Sustainability and the Grid: Unpack engineering solutions that enhance grid reliability, focusing on contingency planning specific to data center demands with a focus on environmentally friendly solutions.