One data center can use more than the amount of energy it takes to power a medium sized town. About 88% to 94% of electricity is used to just keep these centers going. In other words, only about 6% of the energy consumed by data centers is from actually retrieving data. Doesn’t that sound wasteful? Well it is.
Green Mountain, a company owned by Smedvig is devoted to building and operating what they term ‘green data centers’. Currently the company operates two green data centers in both Stavanger and Telemark, but it plans to develop in other regions.
The Green Mountain claims its data centers are the greenest data centers in the world, and has committed to power all its IT infrastructure resourcing to 100% renewable energy. It believes Norway is the ideal country to start this concept because the country’s electricity is gentereted nearly 100% by hydropower. Additionally, Norway’s abudance of cold fjords allow for the data centers to be cooled by the earth, and not air-conditions.
Green Mountain’s focus on fully transparency in all they do including delivery, including power usage, carbon footprint, temperatures, power cost to visualise usage and are constantly working on improvements to make the process even more sustainable.
According to Petter Tømmerås, Chief Sales Officer, using Green Mountain’s data centers is straightforward, “Norway has the lowest energy price in Europe. We save the big players a lot of money compared to the other countries. The cost of storing data in the UK is three times it is here.”
Other than Norway’s low energy prices, it’s highly sustainable. The Stavanger location, is a former high security NATO ammunition storage facility built deep inside a mountain, while the Telemark location is spread out in several buildings throughout the “cradle of hydro power” both use the fjords to cool the centers.
Tømmerås anticipates green data centers will become the norm when accessibility to renewable power becomes easier. Green Mountain is a supporter of Future of Internet Power, a BSR network initiative to power the internet with 100 percent renewable energy.
Technology and storing data in the cloud is only on the rise, which makes storing our data in a sustainable manner even more essential.