Access to data and the internet is something that many people take for granted. This data would not be available if it was not for data centres, but the telecom and IT industry is a large energy consumer, responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than all air traffic globally combined.
A solid climate calculation
By looking at factors such as design, integration of neighbouring energy ecosystems and renewable resources, EcoDataCenter in Falun, Sweden, aims to be the world’s first climate-positive data centre. This is shown in figures in a climate calculation applying the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHGP).* All factors affecting the climate are included in the calculation – buildings, technology, power supply and operations.
The location of the centre, nearby the city heating plant, provides the perfect conditions for effective heat reusage, ultimate safety and quick expansion. Surrounded by safety barriers created by nature itself, the site also has access to a lot of buildable space. This allows for easy expansion – ideal for a fast-growing large-scale data centre offering wholesale and colocation solutions to global companies.
Unique solution for heat reuse
Data centres generate a lot of heat, which becomes a problem for the surroundings. At EcoDataCenter, the heat is seen as a resource and is reused by the community heating plant for heating buildings nearby and production of biofuel. Using the excessive heat from the data centre makes it possible to replace existing marginal heat production with high CO₂ emissions, which in turn exceeds total CO₂ emissions from the power used by the data centre during a year. This heat reusage solution, making it possible to avoid emissions, is the core factor that makes EcoDataCenter a climate positive data centre.
100 % sustainable energy
The electricity available at the EcoDataCenter in Falun is 100 % provided from renewable sources, where 25 % comes from wind power and 75 % from hydropower. The data centre is connected to large regional hydroelectric power stations, nearby wind farms, and a combined heating and power (CHP) plant located next to the centre. This makes the emissions low, as well as the costs.
The EcoDataCenter buildings are equipped with a green roof, which is not only good for biodiversity, but also energy conservation and improved thermal performance of buildings. The vegetation reduces the temperature inside the buildings, provides a CO₂ reduction and minimizes stormwater impact, as well as increase the durability of the roof. The buildings are made of wood, a renewable material that captures CO2 emissions. The module-based wooden buildings are also easy to adapt to client specific wholesale solutions. This flexibility can be very useful, since the client’s needs for space tend to vary over time.
Security is key
EcoDataCenter does not only take sustainability seriously, but also knows that security is key for a great data centre, both when it comes to physical security as well as security systems and routines for keeping digital assets safe in all situations. The site location has been carefully picked and factors such as natural disasters and external events have been taken into account. The building has been equipped with high-tech safety measures as well as physical obstacles.
For years, EcoDataCenter has been a true pioneer when it comes to sustainability in the data centre industry. Today, the increasing awareness of the climate impact of IT is driving the industry forward towards an adaption to more sustainable solutions. EcoDataCenter is already there, prepared with its solid climate calculation.