Pictured: Lulea mayor Karl Petersen (left) and Facebook’s Director of Site Operations, Tom Furlong – Image Credit: Lulea data center Facebook page
Facebook is poised to take free cooling and clean energy to new heights. Up into the Arctic Circle, in fact.
The social networking behemoth announced today that it was siting its first data center outside of the United States in Lulea, Sweden. One of its main draws is a chilly climate that will reduce the need for cooling equipment. Another huge draw — at least in terms of getting out from under the shadow cast by the coal-powered cloud in Prineville, Ore. — is that the facility will be mostly powered by green energy.
So far, plans call for three buildings to house servers totaling approximately 900,000 square feet. Inexpensive hydropower will supply the 120 MW needed to keep the data center running.
Combine green energy with the free-cooling benefits that the location allows, and add Facebook’s penchant for energy-efficient IT systems, Lulea could be the company’s greenest data center yet. Not only can this lead to huge energy savings for the social media giant, it can also provide the industry with a high-profile, environmentally-friendly blueprint that emphasizes renewable energy sourcing in addition to power efficient IT equipment and facilities.
Another bonus: Its proximity to Europe should also help speed up Facebook for users across the region since their data will have a shorter distance to travel. Good news all around.