Data Centre Cooling Innovation of the Year
Stockholm Data Parks is a unique offering. Nowhere else are data center operators provided with an opportunity to locate their data center on a site where the power outlet, fibre connectivity and infrastructure for large-scale heat recovery are already in place or committed by the respective providers. The cooperation between the City of Stockholm, grid provider Ellevio, fiber provider Stokab and district heating provider Stockholm Exergi enables an unprecedented combination of short TTM with the opportunity to build and run a net climate positive data center.
Data center operators who have recently chosen to locate in Stockholm Data Parks express great appreciation of the coordinated and transparent approach of Stockholm Data Parks, which greatly simplifies their site location decision. See https://stockholmdataparks.com/2019/11/12/three-new-data-centers-with-heat-recovery-in-stockholm-data-parks/.
The key differentiation of Stockholm Data Parks is the combination of an “ordinary site offering” with a structured cooperation between infrastructure partners to ensure customer success and paid-for large-scale heat recovery for unmatched sustainability.
With the projected growth in data centers and the megatrend of sustainability, the City of Stockholm and the other partners of SDP saw the need and possibility to offer data centers the opportunity to locate in Stockholm to allow them to serve their end-users and at the same time be truly sustainable by leveraging large-scale heat recovery in addition to running their data centers on electricity with the lowest carbon foot-print in the EU.
The main customer benefits are the reduced TTM and unmatched sustainability in combination with a better ROI (see below).
With the project having such important implications for the City, Stockholm Data Parks is lead by a Steering Committee consisting of the CEOs of participating companies (in the case of Ellevio the Regional Director) and the Chief Officer of the City’s Planning unit. This ensures a solid alignment of interests and allows for a swift resolution of any issues that may arise.
With heat recovery being an essential ingredient in Stockholm Data Parks, new methods of physical, legal and commercial integration between Stockholm Exergi and the data center have been developed to ensure that both parties’ needs are met. The set-up is truly innovative since it allows to sectors with different business models and return on capital requirements, the data center sector and the heating sector, to meet and reap mutual benefits.
In a broader perspective, Stockholm Data Parks has been active in sharing its experiences with other city’s and regions attempting to recover excess heat from data centers. In that way, Stockholm Data Parks can be seen as a broader enabler of one of the important ways to make the data center industry more sustainable.
Stockholm Data Parks is unique in that it offers to pay for a data center’s excess heat. Traditionally, data centers have attempted to get rid of the excess heat at the lowest possible cost. By designing a payment mechanism that pays for heat power capacity (kW) as well as heat energy (kWh), a business case including CAPEX and OPEX with heat recovery in Stockholm Data Parks will result in a negative cost for cooling the data center over its life-time. Any and all other cooling methods will always result in a net cost, in particular as the OPEX will never turn negative even with free cooling. This is on top of the attractive electricity prices of Stockholm and Sweden.
For Stockholm Exergi, the profit comes from that the alternative cost of heating fuel is higher than the payment offered to the data centers for their excess heat.
For the climate, the benefit comes from that the replacement of the alternative heating fuel with heat recovery reduces the total CO2 emissions, potentially leading to net climate positive data centers.
A 10 MW data center load can heat around 20 000 modern residential apartments.
Stockholm Data Parks strengthens the brand of all involved partners.
For the data centers, it provides a competitive edge in responding to customer demands for climate-neutral computing, associating the brand with a leading awareness of the need to tackle climate change.
For the City of Stockholm and the other partners of Stockholm Data Parks, it strengthens the image of Stockholm and the involved companies as leaders in sustainability and innovation.