– Data center heats up 1500 homes – for free!

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Data center heats up 1500 homes – for free! When GlobalConnect opened its data center in Høje-Taastrup municipality outside Copenhagen in 2021, the company entered into an agreement with the local district heating company to supply excess heat to the municipality.

Data centers have become an important part of the digital infrastructure. In order to operate, and not least to cool, the large server parks, a good deal of electricity is needed. Now, however, GlobalConnect is making a smart move to save energy and at the same time utilize excess heat from the data center in Høje-Taastrup.

Instead of using electricity to cool down the facility, a heat pump will convert the excess heat into local district heating. When the facility is completed in 2023, it will contribute to heating 1,500 households in the municipality. The surplus heat is delivered completely free of charge to the end users. The district heating plant, Høje Taastrup District heating is so close to the data center that it was relatively easy to connect to the plant’s main pipe network. In total, 15 per cent of the district heating systems’ heat production will come from data centers.

– An important part of our digital infrastructure in the Nordics are data centers where large amounts of data are stored and processed for companies across Europe. Data centers use large amounts of electricity, both to run the servers and to cool them. The operation of servers emits a lot of excess heat, which can either be considered a problem or an opportunity to innovate. We choose to see it as an opportunity to contribute with sustainable solutions to the local community, says Johanna Olesen, Sustainability Manager at GlobalConnect.

This project has proven the opportunities in close co-location of data centers and district heating systems. In future localization decisions, GlobalConnect will assess the possibilities for corresponding win-win solutions.