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H&M reinforces commitment to datacentre heat reuse with 1MW Stockholm datacentre build

The 1MW facility could potentially generate enough heat for 2,500 residential apartments in Stockholm when completed in 2018

H&M is moving into Stockholm’s sustainable datacentre hub, where the heat from its server farm will be reused in the local community.

The fashion retailer plans to build a datacentre, capable of delivering 1MW of IT load, which is expected to generate enough heat to warm 2,500 residential apartments in the Swedish city, on the Stockholm Data Parks’ site. The facility is expected to be up and running by 2018.

The company is understood to have made use of heat reuse schemes in its datacentre estate since 2013, as part of its ongoing sustainability commitments.

“IT is at the core of H&M’s business, and it’s important for us to be as sustainable as possible in everything we do,” said Jan Lundin, head of H&M datacentres.

“Just as we collect second-hand clothes for reuse and recycling, it will be imperative for future datacentres to recover excess heat.”

Like many other retailers, H&M is pursuing an omni-channel strategy for growth, with its e-commerce activities making a growing contribution to the company’s overall profits, its most recent set of financial results show.

The Stockholm Data Parks initiative is being overseen by a consortium of infrastructure companies, which are seeking to make the most of the Swedish government’s decision to roll out energy tax breaks for datacentre operators since the start of the year.

Read more about datacentre heat resuse

Speaking to Computer Weekly in January 2017 about the endeavour, the Stockholm Data Parks team said the hope is that eventually up to 10% of the city’s residential heating demand will be met by the heat recovered from the set-up.

Erik Rylander, head of Stockholm Data Parks at Fortum Värme, said H&M’s decision to build its next datacentre on the site is a “validation” of the work the organisation is doing to create a sustainable datacentre industry in the region.

“It’s fantastic that a growing number of companies are connecting their systems to our district heating network to stop wasting datacentre excess heat,” he said.

“I’m particularly thrilled H&M, which has been gaining experience of heat recovery in recent years, has decided to design its datacentre with a redundant cooling and heat recovery solution from the outset.

“It’s smart and profitable, and together we can make Stockholm even more sustainable,” he said.

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