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Green Mountain signs datacentre waste heat reuse agreement with Norwegian lobster farm

Norway-based datacentre operator signs a waste heat reuse agreement with the world’s first land-based lobster farm

Norwegian colocation provider Green Mountain has signed an agreement that will see the waste heated water generated by its datacentre used to regulate the temperature of the world’s first land-based lobster farm.

Green Mountain has agreed to pass on the heated water generated by its liquid-cooled datacentre, dubbed DC1-Stavanger, to the Norwegian Lobster Farm, where it will be used to regulate the temperature of the environments the lobsters live in.

“To grow optimally, the lobster needs a temperature of 20°C in the seawater,” the colocation firm said in a statement. “This is exactly the temperature of the seawater that has been used to cool the IT equipment in Green Mountain’s datacentre. This heated wastewater can therefore be delivered directly to the fish farm.”

Seawater enters the Green Mountain DC1-Stavanger facility through a gravity-fed system connected to a neighbouring fjord at a temperature of 8°C to keep the server farm cool. Once it has served its purpose of cooling the facility, it re-enters the fjord at a temperature of 20°C.

To make efficient use of the warmed waste water, the Norwegian Lobster Farm will build a production facility next to the datacentre some time later this year.

“In practical terms, this means we can scale up production, reduce technical risk and save both capital expenditure and operational expenditure – in addition to the environmental benefits, of course,” said Norwegian Lobster Farm CEO Asbjørn Drengstig.

The land-based lobster farming technique favoured by the Norwegian Lobster Farm is one the company has spent several years developing, and it has previously received funding to support its research in this area via the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme.

Green Mountain CEO Tor Kristian Gyland said the company has spent a long time exploring different ways to reuse the waste heat generated by its datacentres, but some of the more conventional methods favoured by other operators were not a good fit because of where its server farms are located.

For instance, where datacentres are built in urban, residential areas, the waste heat generated by such operations can be used in district heating systems to warm nearby homes.

“For a long time, we have explored various methods to reuse the waste heat from our datacentre,” said Gyland.“ In this location, which is sparsely populated, district heating is not a sensible alternative. This project, on the other hand, fits like a glove. We hope we can expand this and similar concepts to our future facilities as well.”

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