Timing is everything, whether it’s stock market hunches, relationships or renewable energy transitions.
And, when it comes to renewables, virtual power purchase agreements are like virtual anything else. They’re ok but not as good as the real thing.
One new relationship between a data center firm and an artificial intelligence-enabled time-matching energy technology could take the energy transition one step further from the virtual to the reality.
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AI-focused power marketer Gridmatic is announcing several moves Tuesday that the company sees as key steps in making renewable energy credits more of a tangible connection to customer's ESG goals than the typical offsets. In this case, Gridmatic was contracted by data center solutions firm EdgeConneX to provide time-matched carbon-free energy for one of its facilities in Texas and within the state’s ERCOT grid operator territory.
The time matchmaking between load and renewable power began at the start of the year.
“There is strong and growing demand for time-matched renewables but a lack of viable solutions due to the complexity of the challenge,” said Matt Wytock, CEO and Founder of Gridmatic, in a statement. “Gridmatic is applying Silicon Valley AI to solve this problem and has four years of market success with its algorithms for industry-leading electricity market predictions.”
At the same time, Gridmatic announced the opening of a new
Both factors dovetail nicely to create what Gridmatic leaders believe is fertile ground for its AI time-matching energy platform. In other words, the Gridmatic AI will match EdgeConneX data center’s energy use with renewable energies being generated within ERCOT at that particular point in time.
RECs match load on an annual basis, but this approach matches to clean energy that is directly related to the load every hour of the day.
“Most data centers cannot meet their energy needs entirely with onsite generation," David Miller, Gridmatic vice president of business development, told EnergyTech. “In this case of EdgeConneX, the approach is to have a power supply backed by firm contract with carbon-free energy, primarily wind power, located in the grid where it’s being consumed.”
The Gridmatic AI blends multiple forms of data, from ERCOT generation snapshots to weather forecasting and grid traffic, into a cohesive portfolio available to the customer. It’s not a wind farm turning blades right next door—although it might be someday—but directly connecting generation in the same independent system operations region to the end user.
The credits “are only counted if being produced during the time it’s being consumed,” Miller pointed out. “We make sure we’re achieving time-matched energy.”
Gridmatic chose Texas for its unique combination of deregulated, competitive market and nation-leading renewable energy profile. The company plans to expand the Gridmatic Retail offering into similar marketplaces such as the northeast, PJM Interconnection and other ISOs and states.
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(Rod Walton, senior editor for EnergyTech, is a 15-year veteran of covering the energy industry both as a newspaper and trade journalist. He can be reached at [email protected]).
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