Facebook to harness hydropower

Social media giant Facebook has today announced it is to build a new data centre in Sweden, a location it picked because of the climate and its access to hydro-electric power.

Lulea, a town on the edge of the Arctic Circle, was chosen because the cold climate will help keep servers at optimum temperature without the use of powered cooling systems. The firm also plans to use renewable energy to run the centre.

Scheduled for completion in 2014, the centre, comprising three 28,000sq m buildings the first of which will be operational within 12 months, will be deliberately situated close to a source of hydro-electric power. A source, says Facebook, which will provide all 120MW of energy the facility will need per annum, meaning it will operate using 100% renewable energy.

The new centre is the first to be built by Facebook outside of the US, and is expected to service some 800m users.

Will Parsons

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie