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Therefore, Danish Energy Island could be ideal for data centers

Therefore, Danish Energy Island could be ideal for data centers

Danish Energy Island will not only provide the country with green energy. It could also become a digital hub, thanks to the availability of green electricity and cheap cooling.

Denmark plans to build the world’s first artificial energy island in the North Sea, about eight miles off the coast of Jutland. It will become the hub of 10 offshore wind farms with a planned installed capacity of 10 gigawatts that, when the island is fully developed, will be able to supply at least five million households with wind power electricity, according to the Danish Energy Agency.

But in addition to producing electricity, the island can play a role in the digitization of both the energy sector and surrounding countries.

Energiön has an interesting strategic location, and can be used as a hub to connect countries or as a springboard for building new submarine cables, says Sophia Dinsen, Director of Sustainability at Globalconnect.

The company is the largest in the Nordic countries in terms of Internet infrastructure and has installed more than 150,000 km of fiber cable in the region. The power island off Jutland could become a communications hub for the continent, and there are plans for direct connections from the island to Denmark, Norway, Great Britain, Germany and the Netherlands.

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Communication becomes central

A buyout from who will build the island is expected to begin in 2023. Several business consortia are planning to bid, and Globalconnect is part of one led by energy company Ørsted and the Danish pension fund ATP, corresponding to one of the Swedish consortiums. AP money.

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It remains to be seen exactly what requirements the Danish state will place on procurement, but digital innovation is likely to be included.

– We have developed a concept where connectivity is fully integrated into the design of the island. There will be hotels, a port, and many other actors that need to be connected. Sophia Densen says it will take hundreds of people to run the island and they need a connection either for their work or to be able to lead a normal life where they can watch Netflix or call their family on Facetime.

But it is not only those who live and work on the island who can benefit from technology. Globalconnect sees an opportunity to build data centers on the island.

There is a lot of talk about data centers being among the biggest consumers of energy and the type of energy they use is important. From an environmental and a business perspective, Sophia Dinsen says.

Read more: Germany invests in Danish energy island: ‘pioneering project’

cheap cooling

Many large data center operators have made significant investments in green energy, or have built wind farms or solar cell plants in connection with their operations. On Energy Island, there will be direct line potential for wind turbines being built in the surrounding sea.

If you put a data center on an energy island, it could be on the wind farm’s electricity grid and could be run 100 percent with green energy, right from the source, says Sophia Dinsen.

Cold sea water in the North Sea also provides the potential for cheap and energy-efficient cooling for servers in the data center. Globalconnect is looking at a number of possible technical solutions and mentions, among other things, the underwater data center that Microsoft tested outside of Scotland.

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It’s not something we have on the drawing board today, but we’re studying different possibilities for building innovative data centers that use as little power as possible. Sophia Dinsen also says new smart solutions we haven’t seen in action before.

The consortium led by Ørsted and ATP is not alone in the search for data center solutions for the island. A rival group of companies led by investment fund Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners has similar plans in their blueprints for how to build an energy island, Danish Ingeniøren reports.