The world’s largest green data centre is to be built in the Norwegian town of Ballangen. US-Norwegian company Kolos is behind the project and highlights benefits derived from the Arctic Circles natural resources.
The company says the chilled air and ample hydropower will ensure high levels of efficiency and keep running costs to a minimum, reports have suggested. Kolos CEO Mark Robinson commented, “It’s in an area of the planet that’s naturally cool and has ideal humidity, so we can keep servers cool without having to artificially chill them.”
He added: “It’s quite literally the lowest power cost in Europe and 100% of the power is renewable on one of the most stable grids in the world.”
The renewable, 600,000 sq m data centre is expected to break records due to the amount of measurable power the servers will use. Kolos is expecting the centre to operate on 1,000 MW by 2027 – beating large data centres from industry leading service providers, including Facebook’s Lulea site in Sweden which is limited to 120MW. Other larger scale data centres are limited to only 200 MW.
Once the site is complete, the green facility will reach four stories high and encompass a larger surface area (6.46 mn sq. ft) than recent record holder Langfang’s facility in China (6.3 mn sq.ft).
Benefits due to the sheer size of the project include a direct impact on Ballangen’s unemployment figures. Kolos expects the facility to directly generate up to 3,000 new positions whilst also supporting Norway’s post-graduate employment. “There’s a university nearby, which produces about 200 technology students a year – and the idea is to employ some of these,” said Robinson.
Support for the data centre is strong, including backing from five local mayors and Norway’s climate and environment minister Vidar Helgesen. Helgesen commented: “We have reduced our tariffs to welcome the establishment of data centres in Norway – we welcome this initiative very much.”
The project’s financial support continues, with several million dollars reported to have been invested into the data centre by Norwegian private equities.