In the city of Falun, Sweden, the world’s first climate positive data center is now being built. EcoDataCenter will also be one of the 13 safest in the world, meeting the highest security requirements with world-class performance. The initiator of EcoDataCenter is the energy company Falu Energi & Vatten in collaboration with the entrepreneurial company EcoDC AB. Schneider Electric will supply technology that will deliver energy efficient solutions and products to the project.
ICT (Information and Communications Technology) is emerging as a new target area in terms of energy efficiency. The ICT sector alone consumes up to 10 percent of the world’s electricity. This reflects the growing cost of powering data centers, the global backbone of the Internet and the cloud. A single data center can easily use more electricity than a mid-sized town. A large part of this energy is never used, but simply released as heat into the atmosphere, contributing to global and local warming. There are currently over three million data centers globally. According to several reports the combined carbon dioxide emissions from these datacenters are expected to exceed the emissions from the entire airline industry in only five years.
– This development implies an increased need for energy, which also affects the environment to a great extent. It is also a cost-driver, which requires a new way of thinking, says Børge Granli, one of the founders of EcoDC AB.
Sweden has proven to be an excellent and safe location for data centers due to its cold climate, reliable and renewable energy sources, political stability and lack of natural disasters. The Cushman & Wakefield and Hurleypalmerflatt Data Centre Risk Index ranks Sweden as the third safest location for data centers in the world, after the US and UK.
The world’s first climate positive data center
EcoDataCenter in Falun will be connected to the local energy system, which in 2013 was praised by Global District Energy Climate Award 2013 in New York as one of the world's best. The excess heat from the servers and IT equipment will warm the buildings in Falun through the district heating system. In the summer time, excess steam from the local electricity plant will run the machines cooling the data center.
– The collaboration between the data center and the district heating system will ensure that the emissions are reduced to the extent that EcoDataCenter will have a negative carbon dioxide footprint over the course of a year. We are connecting the data center to an already sustainable energy system and can make use of all the energy. Thereby we are building the very first climate positive data center in the world, says Bengt Gustafsson, CEO of Falu Energi & Vatten.
The electricity powering the data center comes solely from renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and water power as well as secondary biofuels.
Safety combined with world-class performance
EcoDataCenter is also projected to attain the highest level of availability according to Uptime Institute Tier IV™, something only twelve other data centers in the world have managed to attain to date. It will also have an exceptionally high performance level with a guaranteed uptime of 100 percent. Furthermore EcoDataCenter will attain the highest possible security standards.
Through the cooperation with the world’s leading energy specialist Schneider Electric, EcoDataCenter will access a broad portfolio of energy efficiency solutions and products that are perfect for this project.
– We live in an age when more and more people are concerned about the global data center industry’s environmental effects. Internet penetration and the Internet of Things don’t have to happen at the expense of the climate. IT security and performance is also increasingly critical for companies and organizations. Therefore, we are tremendously proud to be a part of the creation of this pioneering data center. EcoDataCenter is the show case for green data and shows that it is very profitable to think out of the box, says Marc Nezet, Country Manager at Schneider Electric Sweden.
Green is profitable
– With EcoDataCenter, we have also proven that greener is less expensive. The data center is significantly more energy efficient than regular data centers and the integration with the district heating and cooling system means that energy is used that otherwise would have been wasted. All of this lowers the costs both for us and for our clients, says Børge Granli.
The first building of three will be completed in the first quarter of 2016.
• Three buildings, all in all 23 250 square meters.
• 18 megawatts.
• Up-time: 100%.
• Energy sources: Sun, wind, water and secular biofuels.
• Security classification: Tier IV™ (the highest possible). The data center will be protected by heavy concrete walls and advanced security-, control and surveillance systems.
• PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness): Less than 1.15 (Tier IV™ design)
• Environment-friendly design with houses certified according to LEED Platinum.
• Sedum (flowering plants) on the roofs cooling them throughout the summer.
• Climate: Average annual temperature 5°C. Average number of days per year with max temperature >25°C is 22 days.
• Site access: 2 km to highway, 25 km to airport, 2 h train to Stockholm
• Sweden has approximately 40-50 percent lower power costs compared to UK electricity prices, according to statistics from Business Sweden, Nord Pool Spot and the
UK Department of Energy & Climate Change.