Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Mountains, fjords and data centres

There’s a lot of talk about locating data centres in places where they can make best use of the surrounding environment. Few can be as well-placed as the Green Mountain data centre located in a former NATO ammunition depot inside a mountain beside a fjord in Norway.


In summary, the facility features:

  • Nine halls inside the mountain with 15,692 m2 floor space in total, plus admin building and warehouse.

  • Access to cold water for cooling - 8°C all year.

  • Expected PUE (Power Usage Efficiency) of less than 1.2 (The Green Grid Platinum level).

  • Use of renewable energy (60% of Norway’s power is renewable, mostly hydropower).

  • Multiple high capacity communications lines to Oslo, directly to the UK and to continental Europe.

  • Direct power lines from several power stations.

  • As secure as you would expect, given its previous use.

  • Quay with "roll on-roll off" option.

  • 30-minute drive from Stavanger, with direct flights from Stavanger across Europe.

The data centre is a partnership between investment company Smedvig Eiendom, utilities company Lyse Energi and ErgoGroup, the largest provider of ITC services in Norway.

The developers are in the late stages of negotiations with Norwegian clients, but believe the facility will also be attractive to multi-nationals based in the US and Europe. The build-out of the co-location halls is expected to start this month and Green Mountain expects the first clients to be installed in late 2012.


It seems like a pretty ideal location. The use of the cold water is a significant factor in making it very efficient in its use of power, the majority of which will be from renewable sources anyway. And in that location its pretty well hidden and protected from most other outside factors.

If only all data centres could be so ideally placed. I wonder how many redundant NATO ammunition depots there are in Europe?

© The Green IT Review

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