Facebook to Build Green Data Centre in Denmark


Social media giant Facebook has chosen to build its third data centre outside the U.S. in the third largest city in Funen island in Odense, Denmark. Denmark is typified with a moderate climate and the company would reportedly benefit from the outdoor air and indirect evaporative cooling which would keep the temperatures in the data centre down with the servers being entirely powered by renewable energy.

The wind power is a great source of renewable energy in Denmark and it has the possibility of supplying the nation’s entire electricity. According to the figures from the European Union’s statistical agency, Eurostat, a quarter of the country’s electricity demand is met by wind power.

What are the factors which made Facebook consider Odense for building the data centre? The company’s director, Niall McEntegart says in the context of the data centre operations outside U.S. that a few factors like access to the internet backbone, the local talent pool for building and operating the data centre make Odense perfect for building the data centre.

Some of the European data centres of Facebook are on the edge of the Arctic Circle, in Clonee, Ireland, and Luleå, Sweden. The Luleå site achieved power usage effectiveness due to the free air cooling.

There is an ever-expanding use of Internet services like cloud computing which require more data centres. According to Gartner, an independent U.S. research firm, the data centre hardware spending will grow in 2017 to around $177 billion. There is an increasing need for big data centres and processing units, because of the growing cloud computing services, and use in mobile applications, which require hard drives to run them.

There are other companies like Apple Inc. and Google which have also been expanding their data centres. In 2015, Apple invested in a data centre at a site near Viborg in Denmark, and Google built some new facilities in Alabama and Georgia.

Lars Lilleholt, Danish Energy Minister, recently stated that the decision of Facebook to build data centre was recognition of the strengths of Denmark. He added that Denmark had the world’s greatest energy systems with large quantities of green energy, good fibre connections, high security of supply, and competitive power prices.

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