Friday, May 24, 2024

Rolls-Royce adding capacity at Graniteville plant to meet data center backup power demands

Must read

Though no data centers have been built here, the data center boom is already paying off for Aiken County. 

Rolls-Royce has sold out of generators for the next two years and is adding capacity at its Graniteville plant to meet the demand driven primary by data centers, Plant Manager Joerg Klisch said at the Aiken Chamber of Commerce First Friday Means Business event. 

“Our business is booming,” Klisch said. “Our generator business is literally out-of-control. We are sold out for the next two years.” 

A boom in data center construction has begun, BizTech magazine said earlier this year. 

The construction boom is driven by a growth in cloud computing – Google, Amazon and Microsoft need places to store the data – and in artificial intelligence, BizTech added. 

As companies build data centers, they need to know that the data center will remain operational even if the primary power source goes down, Klisch continued.

“Data centers are popping up all over the country like mushrooms and what they need desperately is backup power,” Klisch said.

And that backup power is typically provided by between 24-30 diesel generators, he continued. 

Klisch said he just read an article about the challenges data centers face, which include energy consumption and water usage, but added “for us, it’s a great business.” 

Rolls-Royce has added a $3 million addition to add more capacity to the Graniteville plant to meet the demand driven primarily by data centers, Klisch said. 

He added Roll-Royce’s customers expect the data center boom to last until at least 2030. 

The Rolls-Royce Solutions America plant – previously known as the MTU plant – is located in the Sage Mill Industrial Park located north of Graniteville on Bettis Academy Road. 

Typically, the first question he’s asked is if his company car is a Rolls-Royce, Klisch said at the beginning of his presentation. 

“And the answer is no,” said Klisch, drawing laughs from the crowd. “Because there are two different Rolls-Royce… There’s Rolls-Royce the car company which belongs to BMW. And then there’s Rolls-Royce out of Derby, England where they build the big jet engines and this is the part of Rolls-Royce that we are belonging to.” 

The First Friday Means Business events are held on the first Friday of each month from 7:30-9 a.m. at Newberry Hall. For more information, contact the chamber at 803-641-1111. 

Latest article