H&M proves purpose of global retailers in data centre management

Company is expanding its Nordic presence while making use of excess heat to heat up 2,500 properties.

Global fashion retailer H&M has unveiled plans to build a 1MW data centre in the Swedish capital which will see excess energy being drawn into the city’s power grid for consumer use.

The facility is scheduled to be brought online in 2018 and is part of a data centre expansion carrier out by H&M which has operated its own data centres in Stockholm since 2013.

The extra energy from the hub is expected to be used for heating purposes by up to 2,500 residential apartments at full load.

Energy firm Fortum Värme has been tasked with distributing the extra energy.

The solution chosen by H&M uses heat pumps in an N+1 configuration. Excess energy is fed directly from the data centre to the district heating network at the required temperature.

According to Stockholm Data Parks, close to 90% of all buildings in Stockholm are connected to the district heating network.

The Swedish capital is one of the few cities in the world where large-scale heat reuse from major data centres is currently happening.

Earlier in January, Stockholm Data Parks announced its objective to meet 10% of the city’s heating needs through heat recovery.

Jan Lundin, head of H&M data centres, said: “IT is at the core of H&M’s business, and it is important for us to be as sustainable as possible in everything we do.

“Just as we collect second hand clothes for reuse and recycling, it will be imperative for future data centres to recover excess heat.”

Erik Rylander, Head of Stockholm Data Parks at Fortum Värme, said: “It is fantastic that a growing number of companies are connecting their systems to our district heating network and stop wasting data centre excess heat.

“I am particularly thrilled that H&M, which has been gaining experience of heat recovery in recent years, has decided to design its data centre with a redundant cooling and heat recovery solution from the outset.

“It is smart and profitable, and together we can make Stockholm even more sustainable.”