Amazon’s cloud to test new Tesla batteries

Batteries could be a helpful pick-me-up for cloud data centers

Amazon cloud Tesla Powerwall

Remember hearing about those fancy new batteries from Tesla that could be used in your home or office to store renewable energy? Well, it turns out they could have a use case in the cloud. 

When news of the batteries broke, Amazon’s cloud computing division announced that it will pilot the Tesla batteries in its Northern California data centers.

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From the horse’s mouth:

“We’ve been working closely with Tesla for the past year to drive innovative applications of high-capacity battery technology in data center applications with the ultimate goal of reducing the technical barriers limiting 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. They help bridge the gap between intermittent production, from sources like wind, and the data center’s constant power demands. We're excited to roll out a 4.8 megawatt hour pilot of Tesla’s energy storage batteries in our US West (Northern California) Region. This complements our strategy to use renewable energy to power our global infrastructure.”

-James Hamilton, Distinguished Engineer at AWS.

The batteries provide storage of renewable energy and backup power when main supplies run low. This could be an ideal use case for a data centers that hosts cloud workloads, which by their nature can be dynamic. Batteries would help supply additional power within milliseconds when its needed.

Amazon isn’t alone in jumping on board to use the new Tesla batteries – Target plans to use some of the batteries in its stores as well. Read more about PowerWall from Tesla here, and some commentary on its importance from this question on Quora here.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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