March 19 - With access to both geothermal and hydroelectric energy and a suitable climate for cooling, a carbon neutral data center is providing data services from an old NATO base in Iceland. The facility was officially opened in February but could be the first of many such centers to take advantage of Iceland's unique environment. Jim Drury reports.
With access to both geothermal and hydroelectric energy and a suitable climate for cooling, a carbon neutral data centre is providing data services from an old NATO base in Iceland. The facility was officially opened in February but could be the first of many such centres to take advantage of Iceland's unique environment. Jim Drury reports. STORY: It used to be a NATO air base, but this building on the Icelandic island of Reykjanes is now a brand new, state-of-the-art, data centre. Its owners, Verne Global, call the plant in Keflavik town the most environmentally-friendly ever designed. CEO Jeff Monroe says Iceland is the perfect location for the hub. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JEFF MONROE, CEO VERNE GLOBAL SAYING: "Iceland is a place that has a confluence of naturally occurring events that can't be found elsewhere in the world, it has dual source 100 per cent renewable energy in geo-thermal and hydroelectric power. It has new multi terabit multi redundant cables that have been installed to Europe and the North America. It has an educated savvy workforce and it has a government which is very supportive of the industry." Using geo-thermal and hydroelectric power safeguards against power shortages. The cold, oceanic climate limits the cooling costs usually associated with such plants. Built inside a warehouse, it was designed by European data centre provider Colt, whose vice president is Guy Ruddock. (SOUNDBITE) (English) GUY RUDDOCK, VICE-PRESIDENT OF DESIGN, DELIVERY & OPERATIONS, COLT, SAYING: "This particular one is a modular data centre, state of the art technology, and it uses far less energy than the normal data centre of its type. What that translates into, it's obviously good for the planet, it's obviously carbon friendly but it's also much, much cheaper." The company says the facility will allow customers to save money in an environmentally-friendly way. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JEFF MONROE, CEO VERNE GLOBAL SAYING: "We obviously think it's very important to have a 100 per cent dual renewable energy, serving our campus, and many of our customers feel it's important as well. But what is very important is the fact that we can drive substantial cost savings while also providing this carbon neutral platform." In data-transfer terms, the plant is 20 milliseconds from London and Paris and 41 milliseconds from New York. It's capable of supporting up to a quarter of a million square feet of computer space. With energy costs the fastest rising expense for data centres, the Keflavik route could become a template for providers world-wide. Jim Drury, Reuters