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Nordic datacentre operator Digiplex has signed an agreement that will see the waste heat from its facility in Ulven, Oslo, reused to warm 5,000 apartments in the city.
The company will work with local district heating supplier Fortum Oslo Varme, which operates a 60-mile heat distribution system throughout Oslo to redistribute the heat generated by its datacentre, which is also renewably powered.
Gisle Eckhoff, CEO of Digiplex, said the arrangement is a demonstration of the company’s commitment to ensuring the digital economy it helps power operates in a more sustainable way.
“Digitisation must move towards a greener world, and our cooperation with Fortum Oslo Varme is an important step in that direction. From autumn 2019, when users in Norway browse the web, they will be indirectly contributing to the heating of apartments in Oslo,” said Eckhoff.
“Every time we go online, stream a TV series or use a cloud service, a process starts in a datacentre. We, as individuals, have a larger impact on climate change if these processes are initiated in a datacentre operated on non-renewable energy and more so from one where waste heat is released into the atmosphere.”
For this reason, Eirik Tandberg, managing director of Fortum Oslo Varme, said the partnership will bring both environmental and community benefits to the city’s population.
“Fortum Oslo Varme is already recovering energy from the sewage of Oslo, and by recovering the surplus heat from datacentres, we further increase the share of recovered heat in our production and strengthen Oslo's cycle-based energy system,” he said.
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“By using resources already available instead of letting them go to waste, we make district heating and energy use in buildings a part of the circular economy. Water-borne heating solutions in buildings are what makes this innovation possible.”
News of the agreement comes several months after Digiplex entered into a similar initiative in Stockholm, Sweden, whereby the surplus warm air from its datacentres will be used to heat 10,000 apartments.
“Sustainability is at the core of our business’ DNA,” said Eckhoff. “Our datacentre in Oslo is already energy efficient, but the ability to utilise surplus heat to heat homes and commercial buildings will help customers further reduce their environmental footprint.”
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