Facebook updates green status with new Arctic data centre

Facebook has claimed that its new data centre, which has now gone live on the edge of the Arctic Circle, is likely to be one of the most efficient and sustainable in the world.

The facility, located in Luleå, Sweden is powered by 100% renewable electricity and benefits from a cold climate used to cool down thousands of servers.

In a statement the social media giant said: “As our systems come online for the first time, we are proud to say that this is likely to be one of the most efficient and sustainable data centres in the world.

“All the equipment inside is powered by locally generated hydro-electric energy. Not only is it 100% renewable, but the supply is also so reliable that we have been able to reduce the number of backup generators required at the site by more than 70%.”

In addition, any excess heat that is produced by the servers is used to heat the offices at the facility.

Facebook also says that its Open Compute Project designs initiative, used on most of the technology in the centre, encourages the development of “vanity-free” hardware designs that are highly efficient and reduces the use of unnecessary metal and plastic.

Facebook announced its decision to open up the data centre in August last year when it disclosed its annual carbon emissions and energy consumption for the first time. 

The vast majority of the company’s carbon emissions (207,000 metric tons) come from its data centres and the company set a goal to derive at least 25% of its energy mix from clean and renewable sources by 2015.

Conor McGlone

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