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.
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.
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: