Welcome to the greenest data centre in the world

Oct 2nd, 2014

Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management, has worked with Green Mountain
AS to build what is considered to be the ‘greenest’ data centre in the world. By using free cooling
from the fjord nearby, the centre is based on 100 percent low cost, renewable hydro power.
Schneider Electric has handled all IT infrastructure on the project.

 
Green Mountain Data Centre is a Tier III+, carrier neutral, high security data centre located at
Rennesøy, near Stavanger, “the capital of oil”, on the west coast of Norway. A second data
centre was recently built at Rjukan, a historic industry site situated in the Norwegian highlands,
also known as the city where the sun never shines during winter.

 
Green Mountain Rennesøy
21.000 square meters of space deep inside a mountain in a former high security NATO
ammunition store has provided a unique location. In addition, the adjacent fjord gives the
opportunity for efficient and natural cooling – making the Green Mountain Data Centre a one of
a kind in the world.

 
The site consists of six mountain halls and reached through 100 m long upwards sloping tunnels
into the heart of the mountain. The high security of the location is fully maintained and the data
centre is built according to high level standards and in accordance with Uptime Tier III and
on most aspects according to Tier IV level. The facility is presently going through Uptime
Certification.

 
Energy supplies come from multiple hydro power plants, a natural and renewable energy
resource that Norwegians take for granted, while considered a luxury in the rest of the world. In
addition, Schneider Electric and Green Mountain AS have designed a cooling system using
gravity effect to bring the cold water from the fjord to the data centre’s cooling station without
using any energy. At levels below 75 m depth the water temperature is stable at 8 oC (46 oF)
year round, and the water used for cooling is brought up from 100 m. The cooling solution
(including cooling station, chilled water pipework and pumps) provide an (N+1)+(N+1) solution
independent of ambient conditions. There are no refrigeration gases as a result and the
simplicity of the system ensures a very robust solution.

 
‘‘We have high ambitions for Green Mountain AS and it has been essential for us to select
contractors that have the most energy efficient and economical solutions available in the
market, with effective use of architecture and technology. Hence, after careful consideration,
we chose Schneider Electric as our main supplier of IT infrastructure, cooling, power supply and
DCIM management of the data centre’’ said Knut Molaug, CEO of Green Mountain AS.
‘’Data usage doubles every two years and currently accounts for 2 percent of the global CO2
emissions. We are happy and proud to be a part of this cutting-edge project, making the world a
greener place’’ said Arild Bjørkedal, Vice President End User/ITB & Energy, Schneider Electric.

 

Green Mountain Rjukan
Schneider Electric and Green Mountain AS has recently designed and finished building a second
data centre, mirroring the site at Rennesøy. The new data centre at Rjukan, a famous historic
industrial area in Telemark in the centre of Norway, was finished ahead of schedule, starting in
December 2013 and is already up and running. Rjukan is known as the city where the sun never
shines during winter and is also famous for its industrial heritage. Norsk Hydro built the world’s
first fertilizer factories here in the early 1900s because of the abundant availability of hydro
power. The same low-cost hydro power will be running the new data centre.

 
Following the footsteps of Green Mountain’s award-winning data centre at Rennesøy, the new
facility at Rjukan is powered entirely by electricity generated from hydro power. Two of the
hydro power stations are located only a few hundred meters away adds to the robustness of the
data centre’s power supplies.

 
‘’The Rjukan site was chosen primarily for the availability of green power and free cooling.
Rjukan is one of the cornerstones in Norwegian industrial history, and we are thrilled to be a
part of and strengthen this proud tradition’’ said Knut Molaug, CEO of Green Mountain AS.
The robustness of the data centre’s multiple power supplies together with the physical security
of both locations together with their submission for Uptime Institute Tier lll certification, make
them ideal data centre for Europe’s most risk-averse corporations.

 
A flying start
Schneider Electric’s recent acquisition of AST Modular, a leading provider of modular, secure
and energy efficient data centres, gave the project a flying start. Local politicians handled the
building application within a 24-hour period and AST’s prefabricated data centre modules made
it possible to build the data within 5 months. In addition, the acquisition came with cutting-edge
international expertise.

 
The data centre at Rjukan is the first phase in a multi-million pound investment to build a large
‘zero emission’ collocation facility. Finishing the project ahead of schedule has given the
investment a flying start.

 
‘’Since we opened our first data centre near Stavanger, we have found that there is a massive
demand for security, power price stability, sustainability and scalability, so our plans includes
investments of £60M in the data centre at Rjukan over the coming years’’ said Molaug.
‘’In Norway, the order is a breakthrough for Schneider Electric as a supplier of turn-key data
centres. Combining international and local expertise in our network, we could ensure that the
data centre was built on time. Neither in Norway or anywhere else in the world, we are aware of
similar build-outs that has been delivered as quickly as this’’ said Arild Bjørkedal at Schneider
Electric.

 
98.5 percent hydro power
Norway has all it takes to build and run the greenest data centres in the world. 98.5 percent of
Norway’s electricity is from hydro power and sustainability is a core value of Norway as a
country. Norway is the largest hydro power producer in Europe, and is known for political
stability, government effectiveness, quality of regulations, rule of law, control of corruption and
financial stability.

 
‘’Our aim is to be an important, cutting edge green data centre operator in the European
market, we are achieving this amongst other through the help of Schneider Electric’’ said
Molaug.

 
Green Mountain AS has a goal of achieving world class Power Utilization Efficiency (PUE) and
provides a PUE below 1.2 in a Tier III configuration. Given the stable IT infrastructure, cooling
and management solutions supplied by Schneider Electric, our customers has the possibility to
achieve this PUE consistently – every hour, every day of the entire year. This superb PUE is
mainly achieved based in the highly efficient cooling system and the efficient design.

 
‘’The combination of our flexible, scalable and reliable solutions and the data centre’s unique
location will provide an extremely stable power supply security to GM’s customers. For
Schneider Electric, this is an important contract and we look forward to being a part of the
development of the future data centres in Norway’’ said Arild Bjørkedal at Schneider Electric.

 
Green Mountain Rennesøy

  • 100% renewable hydro power
  • Efficient cooling solution secures low power usage
  • Highly efficient water cooling
  • Precision cooling of racks
  • Designed for efficiency
  • Components chosen based on efficiency
  • Utilizing already built facilities

 

Green Mountain Rjukan

  • 100% renewable hydro power
  • Unique vicinity to multiple hydro power stations (6)
  • Efficient cooling solution secures low power usage
  • Highly efficient water cooling
  • Precision cooling of racks
  • Designed for efficiency
  • Components chosen based on efficiency

 

For further information, please contact:
Arild Bjørkedal, VP End User/ITB & Energy, Schneider Electric
Cell.: +47 901 00 845
E-mail: arild.bjorkedal@schneider-electric.com

 
Knut Molaug, CEO, Green Mountain Data Centre
Cell.: +47 901 39 522
E-mail: knut.molaug@greenmountain.no