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Volkswagen Opening ceremony

June 18Th 2019 will forever be a milestone in Green Mountain’s history – the day we officially opened the data center we built for the Volkswagen Group at our site in Rjukan. You can read the details in the press release and the event received broad media coverage, but I wanted to share a personal report of the event myself.

We signed the contract with the Volkswagen Group back in autumn 2018 and 6 months later in the beginning of April we could hand over two new data halls to the client. An achievement I am proud of; and it was only made possible through the hard work of Green Mountain employees, several local entrepreneurs and Schneider Electric who supplied the pre-fabricated data centre modules.

Data Centre for Volkswagen at Green Mountain in Rjukan
Aerial view of the Green Mountain data centre in Rjukan. The front building is specifically designed for Volkswagen.

This is an important agreement for us, but also for the Volkswagen Group, who demanded their data centre to be both cost-effective and completely climate neutral. Volkswagen Group will annually save 5.800 tons of CO² by locating the data center in Norway. During the construction process they decided they wanted to tell the public about this data centre and why they had chosen Green Mountain as a supplier and Rjukan as the location.  We therefore decided to organize an official opening ceremony.

From the Volkswagen Group came senior representatives from the IT management – Mr. Mario Müller, Mr. Michael Bartsch, Mr. Guido Fischer and Mr. Harald Berg, representing both Volkswagen and Audi. We also invited the minister of trade and industry, the Mayor, representatives from Innovation Norway and other important representatives from the data centre industry.

Volkwagen representatives Green Mounta Data Centre
From left: Michael Bartsch, Mario Müller, Harald Berg, Odd Torland, Guido Fischer and Tor Kristian Gyland.

Although the minister had to cancel due to sickness and it was raining from grey skies, the ceremony was memorable. (Without the rain, no green energy😉) Following my introduction, we heard speeches from the Chairman of the board and CEO of Smedvig, Odd Torland, Finn Kristian Aamodt from Innovation Norway and from Mr. Müller (Volkswagen Group) himself. The latter also performed the official ribbon cutting and declared the data centre opened. The overall message was that Norway has a unique value proposition to attract international customers; green renewable energy, beneficial framework conditions and state-of-the art technology. There were high hopes for the future and a positive spirit for the growth of the Norwegian Data Centre Industry.

As the data halls themselves are subject to strict security measures, only the Volkswagen Group representatives were allowed to have a look inside. They were impressed with the facilities and we will continue our hard work to keep the high standards.

We ended the event with a buffet of local delicacies and conversations among the participants.

Aa a CEO I think it is important to mark and celebrate important projects – and this was truly one of them. I am grateful for the hard work of everyone involved, both internally and externally – an exceptional team spirit. I also want to thank the Volkswagen Group for their vote of confidence and their willingness to share the story. I hope this is only the beginning of a long and lasting business relationship.

Tor Kristian Gyland

CEO, Green Mountain

Please see more photos form the event below:

Odd Torland Green Mountain
Speech from Odd Torland (Chairman of the board and CEO of Smedvig)
Tor Kristian Gyland Opening ceremony NRK
Tor Kristian Gyland interviewed by NRK.
Ole Sten Volland, Odd Torland, Bjørn Sverre Sæberg Birkeland
Ole Sten Volland (CTO Green Mountain), Odd Torland (Chairman of the board and CEO of Smedvig) and Bjørn Sverre Sæberg Birkeland (Mayor of Tinn Municipality.)
Group picture VW opening Ceremony Green Mountain
From left: Michael Bartsch, Mario Müller, Harald Berg, Guido Fischer, Odd Torland, Bjørn Sverre Sæberg Birkeland (Mayor), Finn Kristian Aamodt (Innovation Norway), Tor Kristian Gyland (CEO, Green Mountain).
Official Ribbon Cutting VW Opening
Official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.
Representatives from ICT Norway
Representatives from ICT Norway
Audience Volkswagen Opening Ceremony
Mr Odd Torland, Mayor Bjørn Sverre Sæberg Birkeland, Mr. Mario Müller (Volkswagen Group) and others listen to the speeches.
Finn Kristian Aamodt - Innovation Norway
Speech by Finn Kristian Aamodt – Innovation Norway.
Opening Ceremony Audience
Volkswagen Group Opening Ceremony Audience
ICT Telemark Representatives
From left: Truls Dishington (COO, Green Mountain), Torkild Follaug and Marit Schulstok (ICT Telemark.)