Document may contain restricted content, please .

Case Study: Vertiv and Telefónica Concepión Project

Last updated:

Gabriel Bonilha, EMEA Professional Services Manager, Vertiv

Oscar Fenoll-De-Torres, Global Account Manager, Vertiv


From Concepción to Reality:

Efficiency through a partnership

Energy Savings as a Service (ESaaS) is a disruptive offering that will completely alter the way large operators optimise their infrastructure. Vertiv’s agreement with Telefónica is to design, invest, implement, operate and maintain the infrastructure that achieves energy savings to the benefit of both organisations. The model is an attractive one from an accounting, financial and operational perspective, and importantly, removes some critical inhibitors to realising energy efficiency gains.

ESaaS requires a very close partnership approach between Telefónica and Vertiv as savings, but also risks, are effectively shared. It begins with Vertiv conducting an overall assessment of Telefónica’s existing power requirements, starting with conducting energy audits, then delivering wide-ranging assessment reports that outline projected KPIs as well as potential energy savings. The reports comprise a series of recommendations for optimising the performance, capacity, availability and efficiency of critical infrastructure, ultimately increasing energy savings. Importantly, ESaaS requires no capital expenditure (CAPEX) from Telefónica – Vertiv effectively bears this. This insight and analytics-driven approach ensure Vertiv delivers not only innovative technologies and energy savings to businesses but also helps Telefónica to avoid CAPEX, reduce operational expenditure (OPEX) and meet commitments to environmental sustainability.

The key benefit of the ESaaS project is that it involved no upfront CAPEX or other initial costs for Telefónica. Traditionally, organisations similar to Telefónica that are aiming to make their sites more energy efficient will buy equipment to do so. However, with this model, the initial investment was carried by Vertiv. Following an in-depth analysis of the site, Vertiv recommended the areas in which to make energy efficiencies and savings and subsequently deployed the technologies required to achieve this at no initial cost to Telefónica. Instead, Vertiv takes a share of the overall energy savings throughout the ten-year engagement.

Introduction

Vertiv brings together hardware, software, analytics and ongoing services. Vertiv’s customers are reassured that their vital applications will run continuously and perform optimally, growing with their business needs. Vertiv solves the most important challenges facing today’s data centres, communication networks. Offering a portfolio of power, cooling and IT infrastructure solutions and services that extends from the cloud to the edge of the network. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, USA, Vertiv employs around 20,000 people and conducts business in more than 130 countries.

As Architects of Continuity™, Vertiv ensures digital infrastructures run continuously and evolve as the business changes. As a result, Vertiv’s Energy Saving as a Service (ESaaS) solution was born from the Telcom industries commitment to reduce their carbon footprint and negative impact on the environment without compromising on the quality of service for their customers. Vertiv is taking an end-to-end approach to facilitate and address this challenge in the lead up to 2050.

In this case study, we explore Vertiv’s partnership with Telefónica Spain on the Concepción project in Madrid. The long-standing alliance between the two organisations is enabling Telefónica to realise its energy-saving ambition with the Concepción project serving as a testament to what is possible.

Read more at www.vertiv.com/en-emea/

Watch more about this project in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j53-f_HcKKI&t=6s

Business Imperative

The idea of computing-as-a-service has become widely adopted thanks to the innovation and scale of cloud service providers such as AWS, Microsoft and Google. But what if the same model could be applied to energy, specifically energy efficiency? Telefónica developed this disruptive ‘as-a-service’ model and Vertiv accepted the challenge to best suit the operator’s needs.

Energy Savings as a Service (ESaaS) is a world-first, disruptive offering that will completely alter the way large operators optimise their infrastructure. Vertiv’s agreement with Telefónica is to design, invest, implement, operate and maintain the infrastructure that achieves energy savings to the benefit of both organisations. The model is an attractive one from an accounting, financial and operational perspective, and importantly, removes some critical inhibitors to realising energy efficiency gains.

ESaaS requires a very close partnership approach between Telefónica and Vertiv as savings, but also risks, are effectively shared. Vertiv conducted an overall assessment of Telefónica’s existing power requirements. Conducting energy audits, then delivering wide-ranging assessment reports outlining projected KPIs as well as potential energy savings. The reports comprise a series of recommendations for optimising the performance, capacity, availability and efficiency of critical infrastructure, ultimately increasing energy savings. Importantly, ESaaS requires no capital expenditure (CAPEX) from Telefónica – Vertiv effectively bears this. This insight and analytics-driven approach enable Telefónica to avoid CAPEX, reduce operational expenditure (OPEX) and meet commitments to environmental sustainability.

For operators, like Telefónica, undertaking innovative approaches to reduce energy and fossil fuel consumption, ESaaS provides an opportunity to create an efficient telecommunications infrastructure for the carbon-neutral objective without disrupting network traffic and key customer relationships.

Vertiv, Telefónica and Concepión

Telefónica S.A. is a Spanish multinational telecommunications company headquartered in Madrid, Spain, and is one of the largest telephone operators and mobile network providers in the world. It provides fixed and mobile telephony, broadband and subscription television and operates in 14 countries and has a presence in 24, with an average of 120,138 professionals.

Between January and December 2018, Telefónica consolidated revenues of €48,693 million and more than 356 million total customer connections, 270.8 million mobile phones connections, 22 million Internet and data connections and 8 million pay-TV connections.

Telefónica, its partners and specialised providers like Vertiv are committed to the objective of the energy and climate change framework of not exceeding a 1.5°C increase in global temperature. Despite its scale, the operator strives to do more with less.

Concepción, in Madrid, is one of the most significant buildings for Telefónica Spain. From the building, the operator provides fibre-optic access to approximately 100,000 households in addition to network hubs that aggregate all of its network traffic in this building.

The building comprises 10,000 square meters over six floors, with a total of twelve technical rooms, which include legacy units with upgrades set in the next few years. The site consumes approximately 700 kilowatts, which adds up to a yearly electrical bill of about €500,000 per year.

The challenge set for Vertiv was to reduce energy consumption and achieve the maximum possible energy savings in the shortest timeframe reasonable. The aim was to enable Telefónica to continue working towards becoming the most efficient telecommunications network in the market in terms of energy and carbon intensity.

Telefónica and Vertiv’s ESaaS is an innovative approach for implementing long-term efficiency projects. As part of this close partnership, Vertiv designed and implemented the solution, in addition to providing ongoing maintenance over the coming ten years for guaranteed savings.

The solution includes the installation of cutting-edge cooling and power equipment and a monitoring system that allows the online analysis and mitigation of all critical devices. Vertiv then collates the data from these essential devices to support pre-emptive measures and decisions.

To adopt this model, Telefónica was only required to allow Vertiv access to the data and inventory concerning current energy consumption at the site, including any possible limitations. In this sense, once buy-in was gained for the project by the board, all Telefónica needed to do was open the doors, both physical and metaphorical, for Vertiv to start work.

Economic Benefits

The key benefit of the ESaaS project is that it involved no upfront CAPEX or other initial costs for Telefónica. Traditionally, organisations similar to Telefónica that are aiming to make their sites more energy efficient will buy equipment to do so. However, with this model, the initial investment was carried by Vertiv. Following an in-depth analysis of the site, Vertiv recommended the areas in which to make energy efficiencies and savings and subsequently deployed the technologies required to achieve this at no initial cost to Telefónica. Instead, Vertiv takes a share of the overall energy savings throughout the ten-year engagement.

The two key areas; thermal and power are where efficiencies and savings are made with thermal, typically representing 30% of a site’s consumption. As part of the ESaaS model, Vertiv optimises settings of cooling technologies, redesigns certain elements, and implements the newest free-cooling technologies, which can, in turn, result in double-digit percentage savings. For AC and DC power, Vertiv focuses on implementing and ensuring high-efficiency technologies are in place to provide savings. Telefónica then pays a service fee per month, based on extensive Big Data from the site that is monitored and collected remotely, which is a percentage of the energy-saving forecast.

Vertiv has been able to reduce the energy consumption from cooling in some of the technical rooms by 85%. Meaning that savings throughout the building of over 20% of the total cost, which would amount to about one gigawatt/hour per year.

Implementing the Solution

The initial set-up of the ESaaS project for Telefónica took approximately six months. This period included conducting the energy audits, forecasting and delivering assessment reports, right through to implementing the technologies suggested by Vertiv at the site. The installation took two months, while the entire project will continue for ten years. Vertiv will maintain the site providing energy efficiencies and savings for this period.

Given the extensive and long-standing nature of a project, this solution is most suited to large organisations that have certain legacy buildings within their infrastructure, whereby energy efficiency becomes an even more critical issue to solve. For example, currently, 20-30% of Telefónica’s sites have the potential to be managed with this ESaaS model, Concepción being one. Vertiv is planning to start work on Telefónica’s sites in Chile, Brazil, Peru and Columbia shortly.

The ESaaS model is also best suited to urban areas where there is a higher level of consumer consumption, thus making the demand to create energy efficiencies even more imperative. Countries, whereby the national power supplies and grids are reliable, is also an essential element, but also where energy is expensive, as this provides the most opportunity to deliver much-needed savings.

Lessons learned

The biggest challenge encountered during the Concepción project was that this was an entirely new way of working for Telefónica, which required a cultural shift in addressing energy efficiency and savings. To overcome this challenge, Vertiv’s reporting and forecasting in the initial phases were of critical importance to prove the value of this ESaaS project. What’s more, the ongoing remote monitoring provides Vertiv with a wealth of Big Data Analytics combined with data from the Spanish Grid making hourly conclusions. This data is reported back to Telefónica every month to outline energy efficiencies and savings made.

One of the biggest learnings throughout the process was what Vertiv discovered about how to deploy its technologies in an ‘as-a-service’ approach and the best ways in which to achieve efficiencies and savings. The complicated legacy building and infrastructure at the Concepción site also contributed to the learning curve Vertiv ended up spending around 70% of the initial phases looking closely at the thermal aspects of the project, which in turn meant key learnings made were about the environments in which its technologies would best perform.

Conclusion

Reducing carbon emissions and creating energy-efficient networks that can be automated and managed effectively without disruption to the service is the holy grail for operators on the journey to zero carbon emissions. Although often monolithic in stature, most operators aren’t in a position to critically manage their infrastructure in a way that produces rapid energy savings and reductions.

The Concepción project has gone beyond merely allowing Telefónica to improve its energy efficiency and savings. It has also made it possible to increase telecommunications reliability for all of its clients while incorporating features such as Tier IV.

This isn’t a job for just anyone. You need a highly experienced partner to be able to get around an environment as complicated as this building, where the last thing required is any incident that could affect the service it offers its clients. There is no other comparable collaboration for this kind of project, making it a genuinely game-changing.

“We are certain that disruptive projects like Concepción, in which we benefit from Vertiv’s global experience, are key to achieving our energy and climate change goals,” said Nilmar Seccomandi, Head of Network and System Infrastructure, GCTIO, Telefónica S.A.