Edged Energy Builds Gigawatt-Scale Network of Data Centers Globally, Focused on Sustainability

Jan. 18, 2024
For its growing worldwide network of data center campuses, Edged Energy is focused on deploying mission critical infrastructure in a sustainable way at scale.

With its tagline of “Zero Water. Zero Carbon. Big Data,” Edged Energy has set the bar for themselves at a very high level. A subsidiary of Endeavour (which has no relationship to Endeavor Business Media, the parent of Data Center Frontier), Edged Energy takes advantage of its sister company technologies in five key areas to build sustainable data centers.

These mission-critical areas include:

  • Cooling systems
  • Distributed power
  • Advanced biofuels
  • Renewable microgrids
  • Grid monitoring

With Edged Energy focused on delivering sustainable IT solutions, they are aggressively developing new data centers, most recently breaking ground in the US in Aurora, Illinois last May, and Atlanta, Georgia last July. 

Using the proprietary energy efficient modular designs and waterless cooling systems, both campuses look to deliver PUE of no higher than 1.15, and showcase the Endeavour technologies. 

Endeavour founder Jakob Carnemark, former chief and founder of Aligned Energy, remarked: 

“The Edged platform is uniquely optimized for both energy and water efficiency. Unlike traditional data centers which put significant pressure on the power grid and consume nearly 136 billion gallons of water each year in the U.S. alone, Edged Atlanta will be outfitted with ultra-efficient waterless cooling technology that can handle high density loads -- up to 70kW/rack in air-cooled configurations and greater densities with liquid cooling plug-in components -- yet consumes no water.” 

The Edged Aurora campus will deliver 100 MW of capacity with a focus on AI workloads, and is a collaboration between property developer Seefried Industrial Properties and utility provider ComEd. 

The Edged Atlanta campus, being constructed on a 70 acre property near downtown Atlanta, will offer almost double the power availability at 180 MW, and is being developed in conjunction with real estate developer the TPA Group and Georgia Power Company. 

Completion of both carbon-neutral campuses is expected in mid-2024, and while they are the company's first entries in the US market, will join almost a dozen other data center campuses under construction worldwide.

Edged's Defining Technologies and Providers

While Edged is the Endeavour company that is building these cutting edge data centers, the other Endeavour companies providing the enabling technologies are focused on broader markets than just the data center industry:

Gridblock is focused on developing and deploying plug-and-play energy routers to enable a power infrastructure, initially focused on making a distributed power generation network with easy deployment to simplify commercial fleet use of electric vehicles.

Gigagrid is focused on developing next-generation electric grid technologies to address the quickly changing power needs we are currently observing.  The company is enabling the transition from the traditional grid model to the Active Grid, a scalable and flexible platform that has a real-time awareness of power demands and the control and monitoring technologies to deliver appropriate levels of power where needed.

ThermalWorks, the developer of the ThermalWorks Advanced Waterless Cooling system, is the provider of the cooling technology enabling the “Zero Water” part of the Edged model. Capable of supporting rack densities of up to 70 kW in a strictly air-cooled model, adding in proprietary self-contained liquid cooling modules allows for cooling significantly higher densities while maintaining their zero water use model. 

The ThermalWorks cooling technology is both modular and scalable and is not limited to a specific range of climates but can be deployed anywhere. The combination of waterless chillers, precision air handlers, and liquid cooling distribution components offers a flexible range of options to the user.

How Is Edged Using These Technologies?

Edged is looking at the most efficient ways to utilize the appropriate technologies provided by their sister companies.  

Obviously, the ThermalWorks waterless cooling solution is the most data center-specific solution being offered. With the utilization of a waterless cooling option, site placement and impact on the local economy and ecosystem, traditional problems when siting new data centers due to their water usage, are minimized, or eliminated, for this part of the decision process.

The plug-and-play microgrids enabled by the Gridblock technology allow the data center campuses to make use of any of the power generation models available to the site, with active grid monitoring enabling the implementation of many microgrid technologies, from smart energy management to energy storage and redistribution. 

Other Endeavour companies are developing low-carbon power generation systems that can provide 24/7 power operation and are powered by hydrogen fuel, working hand in hand with their advanced biofuels group to develop low-cost hydrogen generation from waste feedstocks to be used for critical power generation.

Working with Spanish REIT Merlin Properties, Edged has just crossed the threshold of opening their first set of data centers on the Iberian Peninsula, across four well-located campuses ranging in size from 16MW to 100MW, in position to provide strong connectivity within Spain and excellent connectivity option to undersea cables connecting overseas. 

Specifically, Merlin Properties and Edged Energy have announced agreements with Barcelona Cable Landing Station (CLS), and regional communications service providers Exa and Axent, for a new carbon neutral data center located in Barcelona. 

The agreements mark an important milestone as Merlin, the Iberian Peninsula's leading developer and operator of green real estate assets, and Edged, with its sustainable data center infrastructure technology, recently started operations at the facility, according to a Jan. 10 press release.

The MERLIN Edged Data Center

Centrally located at the Port of Barcelona near the city's downtown, the Merlin Edged data center offers 16 MW of critical load capacity, while consuming no water for cooling and being powered by 100% renewable energy. 

Edged said the facility is uniquely designed for both energy and water efficiency with a guaranteed PUE of 1.15 and an advanced waterless cooling system built to handle the dense AI-driven loads that are reshaping the IT industry, while conserving Spain's scarce water resources.

The MERLIN Edged data center's Meet Me Room directly connects to the Barcelona Cable Landing Station (CLS), providing customers with a high-speed connectivity bridge between the western Mediterranean and major and emerging markets worldwide. 

Edged contends the Barcelona CLS offers strategic connections to what will soon be the largest and fastest subsea cables in the world (the 2Africa cable and Medusa cable, respectively).

"We are seeing incredible growth and investment in IT and digital infrastructure across the Iberian Peninsula," said Miguel Angel Acero, Chief Operations Officer for Barcelona CLS. "The Barcelona Cable Landing Station is proud to be the area's go-to connection spot, and we are honored to work with companies like MERLIN Properties and Edged who are combining top-tier performance and global connectivity with innovative technology and sustainable design." 

MERLIN Edged customers also have access to additional subsea cables and terrestrial networks through connections with carriers EXA and Axent. EXA's network spans over 142,000 kilometers with routes extending throughout Europe and North America. Axent further amplifies local connections with high-speed routes throughout Spain, Portugal and France.

Barcelona CLS's Acero added, "The connection to the new facility was made possible thanks to Barcelona CLS existing redundant metro fiber ring, which adds significant network route diversity for the MERLIN Edged data center."

As noted above, in addition to their Barcelona data center, MERLIN Properties and Edged have launched a network of waterless, carbon neutral data centers across the Iberian Peninsula.

The partners report that construction is complete and operations have begun at their data centers near Bilbao and Madrid. Further construction will break ground on an up to 100 MW campus in Lisbon, Portugal, as soon as the site's license is granted, expected in early 2024.

Related Story: Data Center Execs from Portugal's Start Campus Resign Under Bribery, Corruption Probe

"We are proud to be part of Spain's fast-growing digital economy and to partner with leaders in the data carrier, networking and telecommunications industries to expand the region's reach and connection opportunities," said Bryant Farland, Chief Executive Officer for Edged. "Our customers can feel confident they are connected to a secure, high-speed, on-demand network with established redundancies that ensure their data can reliably and instantaneously reach markets in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East."

If all goes as announced, by mid-2024 further significant capabilities in high-performance, highly sustainable colocation facilities should be online in the Edged worldwide network. As is the case with all of the announced Edged facilities, significant infrastructure for EV charging is included with these properties.

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About the Author

David Chernicoff

David Chernicoff is an experienced technologist and editorial content creator with the ability to see the connections between technology and business while figuring out how to get the most from both and to explain the needs of business to IT and IT to business.

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