Nordic data centre operator, DigiPlex, and heating and cooling supplier, Stockholm Exergi (formerly Fortum Värme), have signed a large-scale heat reuse agreement. The agreement is claimed to be the world’s first where an already operational data centre with an indirect evaporative air-to-air cooling solution, will be retrofitted to recover excess heat for the local district heating system. The agreement corresponds to heating up to 10,000 modern residential apartments.
“Every time we browse the Internet, stream a TV series or use the cloud, a process starts in a data centre. If that data centre is a power-hungry fossil fuel-fired one that releases excess heat into the atmosphere, we as individuals are contributing to climate change. At DigiPlex we are very proud to lead the industry by using the excess heat from our Stockholm data centre to heat thousands of households. Digitization needs to support improved sustainability, and this partnership with Stockholm Exergi is a big leap forward, one that could enable residents’ digital activity to contribute to heating their own homes,” commented Gisle M. Eckhoff, CEO at DigiPlex.
“The agreement with DigiPlex is a strong validation of our waste heat recovery programme and Stockholm Data Parks. The partnership with DigiPlex shows that heat recovery to district heating systems is also compatible with indirect air-to-air cooling technology. It represents a key step towards our vision of using data centre heat to contribute to a more sustainable society. As part of our drive to make Stockholm fossil fuel-free, our objective is that 10 percent of Stockholm’s heating needs shall be provided by recovered data centre waste heat,” added Anders Egelrud, CEO at Stockholm Exergi.
Close to ninety percent of all buildings in Stockholm are connected to the district heating network. The Swedish capital is one of the few cities in the world where large-scale heat reuse from major data centres is possible.
“Digitalisation must go hand in hand with the development of environmental technology. With Stockholm being in the absolute forefront of both fields this is a natural step for the city. Utilising smart technological solutions to make the most of synergies between recovered data centre heat and the city’s heating needs is a part of the environmental objective to become fossil fuel-free by 2040. I am determined to make Stockholm a major hub for sustainable data centres,” said Karin Wanngård, Mayor of the City of Stockholm.
DigiPlex’ data centres are powered exclusively by sustainable sources of electricity and their new sites are some of the greenest and most energy efficient data centres in the world.
“Sustainability is at the core of our DNA and heat reuse is the next innovative step in our sustainability journey. Adding the ability to reuse excess heat for residential and office housing will help customers in our highly energy efficient Stockholm data centre, which features the award winning Air-to-Air and Concert Control systems, to reduce their environmental impact even further. By working together with Stockholm Exergi, we will contribute to a more sustainable data centre industry that can contribute even more to the future of our cities and society at large,” concludes Eckhoff.