Thursday, October 19, 2017

Stockholm wants 10% of capital’s heating coming from data centres

Capital launches Stockholm Data Parks to attract investment in data centres where waste heat is recycled and used to heat the city.

The Nordics’ largest city, Stockholm, wants to set new global standards on how wasted data centre heat is dealt with and used by the local community by turning data centres net climate positive.

In a world’s first, the City of Stockholm and other public and private organisations including Fortum Värme, Ellevio, Stokab and Invest Stockholm, have came together to launch Stockholm Data Parks.

The initiative aims to optimise the way large data centres operate by maximising cost efficiency with low cost renewable electricity and paid-for heat recovery which is then distributed to Stockholm’s heating system.

“The long-term objective is to supply 10% of the city’s residential heating demand through recovered excess heat from data centres,” project leaders said.

Stockholm Data Parks will offer free data centre cooling as a service in exchange for the excess heat when data centre load exceeds 10 MW.

The project has been created to bring together basic data centre infrastructure elements to minimise startup costs and time to market for data centre investors.

In a statement, officials said: “At the ready-to-build sites, the necessary power, cooling, heat recovery and dark fiber infrastructure is predefined. The sites launched today are located in Kista/Akalla, the ICT hub of Sweden.”

The capital’s project is just the first of a series of data parks set to be created in Sweden.

Karin Wanngård, Mayor of the City of Stockholm, said: “So far, most data centres have been built with little consideration for the environment. We want to change that.

“With the significant synergies between recovered data centre heat and the city’s environmental objective to become fossil fuel-free by 2040, I am determined to make Stockholm a major hub for sustainable data centres.”

Göran Långsved, Chariman of the Board at Fortum Värme, said: “With a market of more than 80 million people within a roundtrip delay of 30 milliseconds, covering all major cities of Northern Europe, the Baltic states and western Russia, Stockholm is an ideal location for cloud players and other major data centre actors.”

This is not the first time that Sweden tries to set a new standard for the data centre industry.

Recently, the government nearly killed data centres electricity taxes dropping these by 97%, from 0.005 SEK or $0.00054 per kWh, to 0.194-0.295 SEK or $0.02-0.03 per kWh.