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How Do the New Array of Edge Products Impact Power Providers?

Oct 31, 2018
by Josh Anderson

LOS ANGELES, CA — Power is part of any conversation about data centers in Southern California. And that’s why CapRE’s recent event, the Seventh Annual Southwest Data Center Summit: The Telecom Evolution, which focused largely on the region immediately surrounding Los Angeles, honed in on just that, with a Q&A titled Up-Close with Southern California Edison: Improving Reliability, Incentives and Industry Communication featuring the perspective of Tod Sword, Economic Development Consultant at Southern California Edison Economic Development Services. Below, we showcase a snippet of that conversation, honing in on what might be the next chapter for the region.

data center summit“Today, in the industry, we have heard that there has been a shift over the past few years,” remarked Moderator Brian Klebash, Founder and CEO of CapRE. “When we started this event, years ago, we talked about colocation and wholesale. Today we are talking about hyperscale and we’re talking about the Edge. And micro edge and micro data centers. So there is an entirely different array of product out there. What does that mean to you as the power company? it’s changed a lot, so how does that change into your strategy?”

“We are excited about that,” replied Sword. “We see it as a huge opportunity. Because the Southern California market has not been a place for the enterprise data center. Colocation, I still think there is a lot of opportunity to get stuff out of people’s operations and move it forward. And that’s part of the strategy that we put together with our task force.”

Recalled Sword, “We said, Okay, let’s go visit these customers, and let’s see if we can help them get more power, get their prices down, get some more space back for cooling as well, and if not, can we get them to a colocation facility, where they could better economies of scale and greater efficiency? And now with this whole advent of micro data centers and the Edge and the Internet of Things, it’s going to be exploding.”

Tod Sword, Economic Development Consultant at Southern California Edison Economic Development Services

“We’ve got some ideas internally that we have been working on, but I don’t think that our company is there yet,” he conceded. “But how can we capitalize it? How we can provide more information about where you can locate it, where the power is, where is the fiber we can tap into across our network? And we’ve been having conversations about…could we help deploy miniature data center at our sub-stations? Our sub-stations all have broadband fiber, high speed. At all of them, that’s how we monitor our system.”

“We lease that out to folks if they want dark fiber, so we have something like 5700 fiber optic miles around our service territory, and we’re kind of a carrier’s group,” Sword explained. “The Verizons and the AT&Ts are using our stuff. But there is opportunity everywhere. We’ve already got that infrastructure so can we play out on that? So we’re trying to get some people to think about, hey, how do we do that?”

For more coverage of this panel, check out earlier CapRE Insider Reports:

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