How green energy powers data on the green isle

16 Mar 2018

Image: Interxion

Interxion MD Tanya Duncan celebrates Ireland’s national holiday with a reflection on how ‘green’ data centres can be.

As we gear up to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, it’s time to gather all things green in honour of the patron saint of Ireland. Green clothes, green accessories and perhaps even a few four-leaf clovers – it is the luckiest holiday on the calendar after all.

But Ireland isn’t just green by aesthetic or name, it’s green by nature, too. 26pc of the energy Ireland produced in 2016 came from renewable sources and it was recognised as having the third-highest wind penetration in the world.

The green isle has set itself the ambitious target of having 40pc of all its energy generated from renewable sources by 2020, which will make Ireland one of the greenest energy producers in Europe.

Ireland’s clean energy drive is a decisive factor for organisations that want to operate their data centres in the most efficient and responsible manner.

At Interxion, we’re proud to support Ireland’s sustainability goals by using 100pc renewable energy – mostly wind energy – throughout all three of our data centres in Dublin. Our latest addition in the capital, DUB3, will provide around 2,300 sq m (24,756 sq ft) of equipped space and 5MW of customer power using only renewable energy.

Settling into the environment

Building DUB3 came with unique environmental challenges, as it’s located in the Grange Castle Business Park just outside Dublin city centre, and home to local wildlife. Not wanting to interfere with the surrounding habitats during the construction of our data centre, we took active measures to maintain and develop these ecosystems.

We installed a green wall featuring climbing vines that face the surrounding area, which will be home to a local population of bats. We also implemented special LED lighting in lieu of the typical floodlights, which we keep below five metres so we don’t detract from the flight path of birds and bats.

We’re pleased to say that our newest data centre is now ready to operate in a truly sustainable way. This is further strengthened by the fact that we’re able to take advantage of Ireland’s naturally temperate climate, which doesn’t see many extreme conditions. With temperatures bouncing between average highs of 20C and lows of 6C, it’s the ideal climate for free-air cooling, which uses 40pc less electricity than typical cooling methods. This decreases the energy spent on cooling and makes our data centres more efficient. We even use some of the heat generated by the data centre to warm up Interxion’s offices!

Towards sustainability

Energy is a fundamental component of the services we deliver to our customers, and stewardship of our energy consumption is something we feel very strongly about. To share our sustainability expertise more widely, Interxion participates in the Technical Committee and the Advisory Council of The Green Grid, the leading energy-efficiency and sustainability association for the data centre industry, as well as the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre on Sustainability.

As our data centres in Dublin demonstrate, we strive to work with businesses responsibly, helping them to reduce their carbon footprint and empowering them to create a more sustainable world.

What better time than now, the greenest time of the year, to reflect on how environmentally friendly your business is?

By Tanya Duncan

Tanya Duncan joined Interxion in 2001, where she held a number of positions before becoming managing director in 2005. With almost 20 years in the ICT industry, Duncan has extensive experience in the management of complex customer environments, capital-intensive projects and strategic business development.

Find out more about Interxion’s sustainability efforts here.