UK data centre cuts energy use with £5.2m funding

The UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) will be investing £5.2m in a project to deliver efficient electricity and cooling in a UK data centre in Lewisham owned by global bank Citi.

The announcement comes in the month that GIB celebrates its two-year anniversary.

It will fund the installation of a 2.8MW combined cooling and power (CCP) system as well as energy efficient cooling units and efficiency improvements to the building’s air conditioning system.

GIB’s chief executive Shaun Kingsbury said: “The IT industry is one of the most energy intensive sectors globally, second only to aviation. Energy can represent up to 80% of the cost of running a data centre, so they provide an important opportunity for energy efficiency measures.

“I am pleased that we have been able to support the first energy efficiency project at a UK data centre and hope that this is the first of many such projects.

“This project makes financial sense, reducing Citi’s energy costs, and makes environmental sense, reducing the data centre’s greenhouse gas emissions. And because of the innovative investment model, it will involve no upfront capital expenditure for Citi as the cost of the project will be paid for out of the energy cost savings achieved.”

Reduce emissions

The CCP system will generate 71% of the electricity needed to power the data centre and provide cooling for servers housed therein, reducing Citi’s overall costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

Business Minister Matthew Hancock said: “This is a hugely welcome investment from Citi, one of the first of its kind for the banking sector. Reducing energy costs makes sound business sense and shows that businesses across the UK can benefit from making the most of green technology.

“We’ve already invested £3.8 billion into the Green Investment Bank opening up jobs and paving the way for projects like this one from Citi. But we are committed to going further to make sure the whole system is more efficient.”

In June, edie reported on GIB’s announcement of a £2m investment to help SMEs make improvements in energy efficiency.

The bank also put forward £5m of funding for the Balmenach distillery in Speyside to support the installation of a new biomass boiler to reduce emissions.

Lois Vallely

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