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Published July 6, 2017 | public
Journal Article Open

Energy Portfolio Optimization of Data Centers


Data centers have diverse options to procure electricity. However, the current literature on exploiting these options is very fractured. Specifically, it is still not clear how utilizing one energy option may affect selecting other energy options. To address this open problem, we propose a unified energy portfolio optimization framework that takes into consideration a broad range of energy choices for data centers. Despite the complexity and nonlinearity of the original models, the proposed analysis boils down to solving tractable linear mixed-integer stochastic programs. Using experimental electricity market and Internet workload data, various insightful numerical observations are reported. It is shown that the key to link different energy options with different short- and long-term profit characteristics is to conduct risk management at different time horizons. Also, there is a direct relationship between data centers' service-level agreement parameters and their ability to exploit certain energy options. The use of on-site storage and the deployment of geographical workload distribution can particularly help data centers in utilizing high-risk energy choices, such as offering ancillary services or participating in wholesale electricity markets.

Additional Information

© 2016 IEEE. Manuscript received April 16, 2015; revised August 19, 2015 and October 21, 2015; accepted November 23, 2015. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant CNS 1319798 and Grant CNS 1319820. Paper no. TSG-00430-2015.


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August 19, 2023
August 19, 2023