Belgian Data Center Operator LCL Installs Biofuel Powered Generators

LCLHVO Generators

Data Center Operator LCL from Belgium is now powering its backup generators with biofuel, more particularly HVO100. Initially, just one of the data centers will use this fuel. For LCL Brussels-West in Aalst, LCL has already invested in six new 2.25 MVA generators that will run on HVO100. The generators at LCL’s five data centers across Belgium will all run on HVO100 in the upcoming phase.

This investment is completely in accordance with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), which LCL signed in November 2021 in order to minimize greenhouse gas emissions in its data centers and to keep global warming to 1.5°C. HVO100 is a sustainable alternative to regular diesel, which produces 90% less CO2 emissions. Thus, LCL is significantly advancing the achievement of its SBTi goals by utilizing this biofuel for these backup generators at its data center in Aalst. This would notably lead to a reduction of 72 tons of CO2 or 4.6% under Scope 1.

For all of its new backup generators, LCL took the intentional decision to convert to generators using biofuel, in this instance HVO100. Vegetable oils (including leftover frying fats), animal oils, wood waste, and pulp are just a few of the non-food raw materials utilized to make HVO100. They go through a sophisticated procedure that uses hydrogen to process them.

The first location to implement this technology will be LCL Brussels-West in Aalst. This data center now has eight backup generators, including six new 2.25 MVA HVO100 generators and two more (older) 1 MVA generators.

Only during monthly testing, when the electricity is switched off, or during actual power outages are the backup generators used. These kinds of checks are performed by LCL specialists to ensure that all backup systems are still operating swiftly, accurately, and effectively.

“Using HVO100 enables a 90% reduction of CO2 equivalent emissions from the generators. In total, this represents a reduction of 72 tons of CO2,” said Laurens van Reijen, Managing Director at LCL Data Centers. “Put simply, HV0100 is wholly renewable.”

5% More Fuel

Laurens van Reijen, MD at LCL Data Centers
“Using HVO100 enables a 90% reduction of CO2 equivalent emissions from the generators. In total, this represents a reduction of 72 tons of CO2,” said Laurens van Reijen, MD at LCL Data Centers.

LCL Data Centers first decided to extend the existing infrastructure of its data center in Aalst with new generators that operate on HVO100. In the near future, LCL also wants to convert its current diesel generators to run on this biofuel.

“In so doing, LCL will highlight its leading role in the data centers sector,” added Laurens van Reijen. “We are striving hard to be an example for the other Belgian and European players in our sector. We also hope to send a signal to our existing and potential suppliers to make their own organizations more sustainable. Only by working together can we make a difference.”

LCL deliberately selected a business that has the same values as itself to collaborate with for its sustainability policy. Because ENERIA, a Belgian company that specializes in emergency power installations and the delivery of renewable energy, also collaborates with SBTi to achieve its own sustainability goals.

“We were delighted to receive the request from LCL Data Centers to make its backup generators operate on HVO100. The CATERPILLAR generators have been fully tested on our premises, in line with the very specific requirements of LCL,” said Tim Bisson, Director at Eneria Belux. “We tested their operation with diesel, HVO100 and a blend of the two fuels. Our conclusion was that whatever fuel is used, the performances – in other words the power, reactivity, and emissions – of the generators fully remain the same. With HVO100, the generators consume around 5% more fuel, due to the small difference in energy density between HVO100 and regular diesel. We are pleased we can help to reduce LCL’s CO2 emissions. It means we too can help, albeit in a small way, to make businesses more sustainable.”