DigiPlex, a data centre provider based in Norway, and district heating supplier Fortum Oslo Varme, have signed a letter of intent on the recovery of heat from DigiPlex’s data centre at Ulven in Oslo. The agreement will help meet the energy needs of approximately 5,000 Oslo apartments.
Data centres today account for 2% of the world’s annual CO2 emissions and 3% of power consumption. In Oslo, district heating is already sourced by renewable power. Due to statutory phasing out of fossil energy sources for heating and urban development, demand for district heating is increasing.
With Fortum Oslo Varme planning to increase heat production, the company has sought out sources of renewable energy that are suitable for production. Through planned increases in capacity at DigiPlex’s data centre, the volume of recovered heat supplied to the district heating system will increase.
“Digitisation must move towards a greener world, and our cooperation with Fortum Oslo Varme is an important step in that direction. From autumn 2019, when end users in Norway browse the web, they will be indirectly contributing to the heating of apartments in Oslo,” comments DigiPlex CEO Gisle M Eckhoff.
Fortum Oslo Varme managing director Eirik F Tandberg adds: “The district heating system operated by Fortum Oslo Varme is a 60-mile thermal energy distribution system in Oslo and is a great tool for moving energy from areas with excess to where energy is needed.
“This type of third-party delivery into the district heating network benefits both the environment and the city’s population. Fortum Oslo Varme is already recovering energy from the sewage of Oslo, and by recovering the surplus heat from data centres, we further increase the share of recovered heat in our production.
“By using resources already available, instead of letting them go to waste, we make district heating and energy use in buildings a part of the circular economy. Water-borne heating solutions in buildings are what makes this innovation possible.”
DigiPlex operates its data centres exclusively on renewable power, with its facilities drawing on Norwegian hydropower plants.
“The reuse of waste heat is the next step in our journey towards a more sustainable society,” concludes Eckhoff.