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Swedish eco group introduces world’s first ‘negative CO2’ data centre

Mon 23 Feb 2015

A Swedish developer group, EcoDataCenter, is building the world’s first ‘climate positive’ data centre facility, in the famous copper mining and snow sports city of Falun.

The proposed data centre will work in tandem with a local energy system, channelling its excess heat to warm nearby homes and buildings in the winter, and using its excess steam for cooling servers and equipment, as well as city HVAC machines in the summer time.

The co-generation plant is driven by power produced from burning branches and wood chips from forestry waste, sawdust from local saw mills and even old furniture; this then creates steam which drives a turbine to generate the city’s electricity. The data centre will also have access to a cooling system, with the area’s climate allowing for free cooling from October through to April.

EcoDataCenter has said that the build will span over 40,000 sq.m. and will have immediate access to 16 megawatts of power, with a substation already in place on site.

The exchange of heating and cooling across the local energy network will allow EcoDataCenter to achieve a ‘negative CO2’ facility which actually “reduces greenhouse gas emissions”. The site can also be supplied with renewable electricity from solar power plants, hydro stations, and wind farms in the vicinity.

“We have also proven that greener is less expensive,” said EcoDataCenter co-founder Børge Granli. “The data centre is significantly more energy efficient than regular data centres 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.”

A spokesperson for the project also added: “Not only is this the greenest data centre in the world, it also provides state-of-the-art performance in terms of uptime, security and rack density. Through its energy system Falun has found a way to cut carbon emissions and stop global warming. Now we are taking the next step […] a paradigm shift, a smarter choice. We are taking real action for a sustainable future.”

Falu Energi & Vatten, a local utilities company, and EcoDC, a Swedish startup, are the two bodies behind the project. The team is also partnering with Schneider Electric, who will be supplying the technology for the smart data centre.



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