Facebook opens hydro-electric powered data centre in Sweden

13 Jun 2013

A glimpse inside Facebook's new data centre in Luleå, Sweden

Facebook’s newest data centre in Luleå, Sweden, has just gone live and is handling traffic from the company’s 1.1bn global users. The facility is also powered by hydroelectricity, making its possibly Facebook’s greenest data centre yet.

Located on the edge of the Arctic Circle in Luleå, the new data centre – Facebook’s first data centre outside of the US – is being powered by locally generated hydro-electric energy. The facility is also taking advantage of the cool Nordic air to cool its thousands of servers.

In a blog post, Facebook claimed the 290,000 sq-foot data centre is likely to be one of its “most efficient and sustainable” data centres yet.

The company said the hydro-electric power supply is so reliable that it has been able to reduce by 70pc the number of back-up generators required at the site.

Inside the data centre, Facebook is using its own designed server hardware, including servers, server racks and battery backup systems, that has been designed through its Open Compute Project.

In early tests, Facebook said the Luleå data centre is averaging a PUE in the region of 1.07. PUE stand for power usage effectiveness, a metric used to determine the energy efficiency of a data centre. An ideal PUE is 1.0.

Facebook data centre in Luleå, Sweden

New data centre in Luleå, Sweden. Image via Facebook

Greenpeace has welcomed the new centre, citing it as a sign that Facebook is committed to “unfriending coal”.

“Facebook, Google, and other major internet cloud companies like Apple, Salesforce, and Rackspace, are fast moving and fast growing, but they have heard from their customers that renewable energy is important to them, and have committed to grow in that direction,” said Gary Cook, senior IT analyst at Greenpeace.

Facebook data centre in Luleå, Sweden

Image via Facebook

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic