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Green Mountain Creates Data Center Harmony with Nature
Published Friday 4 December 2015 by Knut Molaug
Norway is a scenic country with remarkable landscapes — but as beautiful as the land, is the toughness of the climate. When it comes to creating a new data center, site selection is one of the most important decisions an organization must make, so a harsh setting could be an obstacle.
However, we turned the chilly Norwegian temperatures and the country’s hydroelectric power resources to our advantage. The result is one of the world’s greenest data center.
The Green Mountain data center, located on the island of Rennesøy, near Stavanger, Norway, boasts a Power Utilization Efficiency (PUE) rating of 1.2, and has established itself as one of the most efficient data centers in existence.
We co-developed this in conjunction with Smedvig a Norwegian investment firm, Ergogroup, a leading Nordic IT services firm, Lyse Energi a Norwegian electric utility, and with Schneider Electric as one of the main equipment suppliers.
The data center is buried deep inside a mountain (250 meters / 1,150 feet) on the island and abuts a cold water fjord. Being situated in a former NATO munitions bunker is unique in and of itself but the Green Mountain data center is innovative for several additional reasons.
Reliable, Renewable, Secure
It’s powered by reliable, low carbon hydropower and cooled by seawater from the nearby fjord.
Relying exclusively on renewable energies, the Green Mountain cooling system uses the nature surrounding it. Consistent 24/7 cooling is one of the main challenges in our business. This data center uses the sea as a refrigerant. On Rennesøy, we have direct access to water at 8 degrees Celsius all year round, which make our cooling methods particularly effective.
Schneider Electric helped design this cooling system which uses gravity to bring the cold water from the fjord to the data center’s cooling station without using any power and without relying on refrigerant gases.
This makes the Green Mountain data center incomparably green; in fact, it produces zero CO2 emissions.
Green Mountain is also one of the most secure data centers in the world. The original heavy, 1.6 ft /0.5m thick NATO blast doors are still in place and tunnels deep in the ground are the only means of access. It’s protected from electromagnetic pulses and radiations as well.
Size and Scope
Under operation since 2013, the Green Mountain data center achieved a “Tier III Certification of Constructed Facility” designation from the Uptime Institute in September of 2015.
To be designated as such, a data center must require no shutdowns for equipment replacement and maintenance. This is accomplished by adding a redundant delivery path for power and cooling to the redundant critical components.
Over 13,600 square meters (146,389 square feet) of space distributed across six halls are in place to help support critical uptime needs and the facility has been designed to scale to 25MW.
Schneider Electric installed data center infrastructure management (DCIM) software, control components, and about 12,000 measuring points. The hardware implementation included Symmetra MW UPSs, Canalis LV busway, Prisma LV Distribution, SM6 + transformers, MV/Citect Scada, Uniflair technical room coolers, and Infrastruxure hot aisle containment systems with in-row coolers and racks.
Saving the environment also equates to savings for Green Mountain data center customers who will benefit from its low cost, high efficiency implementation.
These corporations have worldwide facilities and must reduce carbon footprints across their data center portfolios. In turn, they will improve their ‘green credentials’ and reduce spending on power. Our customers can achieve the low 1.2 PUE consistently – every hour, every day of the entire year.
Come with me on a journey through the Green Mountain facility in this video.