Unless they’re built on an ice desert, data centers can take enormous amounts of energy to cool. But over in Stockholm, the Swedish capital is trying to turn this energy burden into an asset. Teaming up with the local heating company, power grid operator, and fiber provider, Stockholm has crafted a plan to not only lure a number of large data centers to the city, but to also harvest their heat for Swedish homes.
The Stockholm Data Parks initiative has identified three greenfield and brownfield sites within the city for potential data center development. The centers would be powered with renewable energy and outfitted with a heat recovery system plugged directly into the city’s existing heating network.
A 10MW data center will be capable of heating roughly 20,000 Swedish homes. By producing heat that would otherwise be generated from fossil fuel sources, the data centers could one day create a net-positive environmental impact.
“So far, data centers have been built with little consideration for the environment. We want to change that,” Stockholm Mayor Karin Wanngård said in a statement. “We want future data centers to be even more cost efficient and truly green.”