Renewable, abundant, and affordable.
Data centers are massive consumers of energy, and our number one priority is to ensure that the power is always on. Consequently, colocation clients are always concerned about certain topics. What sort of energy do we use and what is its carbon footprint? Do we always have a reliable supply of it? How efficiently do we use it? And of course, what is the price?
In Norway, virtually all electricity, for both industries and homes, comes from clean, renewable hydropower. This is the case for Green Mountain’s data center power as well. The data centers are all operated on renewable hydropower with a guarantee of origin. Hydropower in Norway has many benefits. In contrast to wind or solar, we can store hydropower and use it when needed. Moreover, because of our unique natural conditions with high mountains and natural water reservoirs it also comes with a minimal carbon footprint as well as a minimal impact on local ecosystems. In fact, many hydropower plants are built on existing lakes. So there is no need to submerge large land areas or displace people like in other regions of the world. The official investment agency in Norway has produced an article that explains this topic in more detail. Read here.
Strong energy security
According to a EU Commission study, EU data centers will consume 3.1% of EU’s electricity demand by 2030 in order to secure the modern digital society we all rely on. At the same time, the FLAP-D regions are experiencing data center power limitations. And the Ukraine crisis has put energy security at the top of the agenda. Undoubtedly, secure energy supply is therefore a critical aspect when deciding where to locate your data workloads.
In contrary to many other European countries, Norway is self-sufficient in energy, and we do export some of our surplus to Europe. However, our local electricity overproduction is best used close to where it is generated to avoid power loss due to transmission. That is why the Norwegian government welcomes energy-intensive industries to Norway. In other words, despite the unstable energy situation of Europe, Norway still has abundant supply to meet the needs of the growing data center industry. In a blog article by our CSO, we delve more into the aspects of energy security. You can also read more about the power supply for each of our data centers: SVG1-Rennesøy, RJU1-Rjukan, and OSL1-Enebakk.
Power Usage Efficiency is key
PUE, or Power Usage Efficiency, is a term everyone in the data center industry knows. It is defined as the ratio of total amount of energy used by a data center facility to the energy delivered to IT equipment. This number has of course an impact on the power costs as well as we don’t want to waste energy for environmental reasons. We designed Green Mountain to offer world-class Power Usage Efficiency. We are on target with an average PUE of 1.2 or below at all our sites, which is far below the industry average. This is mainly due to our innovative cooling solutions as well as the natural wet and cold climate in Norway. Nevertheless, we will continue to focus on energy optimization to drive the number down further.
Affordable electricity prices
Norwegian hydropower is not only emission-free, but also very affordable. And although prices have risen the past year, they are still very much competitive compared to the rest of Europe. This is also due to the low energy taxes and levies. Read more about the total costs of data centers here.