Kao Data ditches diesel in UK first

21 July 2021 | Melanie Mingas

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Kao Data has claimed a UK first as it transitions from using diesel to renewable hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) fuel.

The developer and operator is planning to be net zero by 2030 and this week confirmed it has been working with Crown Oil to transition all backup generators at its Harlow campus to HVO, eliminating "up to 90% of net CO2 from backup generators" while also reducing nitrogen oxide, particulate matter and carbon monoxide emissions.

HVO can be put directly into existing diesel generators, its storage life has 10 times that of standard diesel and, because it's vegetable oil, it is free of sulphur and metals and is biodegradable.

“This pioneering approach to replace our generator’s diesel provision with HVO fuel is a key step in the company’s efforts to become Net Zero, and a further demonstration of our leadership in the international data centre sustainability field,” said Gérard Thibault, CTO at Kao Data.

“This move effectively eliminates fossil fuels from our data centre operations, and helps us reduce Scope three emissions in our customers’ supply chain, while delivering no degradation to the service they receive. Most importantly, it shows how our industry can take a simple and highly beneficial step forward for the good of the environment, ahead of COP26.”

COP26 is scheduled to take place in Glasgow, Scotland from 31 October.

A signatory of Europe's Climate Neutral Data Centre Pact (CNDCP), Kao Data's UK colocation campus uses 100% renewable energy and utilises 100% refrigerant-free indirect evaporative cooling technologies. On the transition from diesel to HVO for generators, Kao Data said it will replace an initial 45,000 litres of diesel and switch to an HVO provision of more than 750,000 litres when the campus is fully developed.

Simon Lawford, technical sales manager, Crown Oil said: “HVO fuel is dramatically better for the environment compared to traditional, mineral diesels. It is 100% renewable, biodegradable, sustainable and non-toxic.

“We’re proud to have worked with Kao Data to initiate a first-of-its kind project, which will be transformative for the data centre industry, and help point the way forward for significant reductions in industrial greenhouse gas emissions.”