Fortum to heat homes with excess heat from new Microsoft data centres

Image by Fortum (www.fortum.com)

March 17 (Renewables Now) - Finnish utility Fortum Oyj (HEL:FORTUM) on Thursday said it will use waste heat from a new data centre region to be constructed by US tech giant Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT) in the Helsinki metropolitan area in its district heating system.

In what is said to be the world’s largest project of this type, heat from the server cooling process will be captured and transferred to a district heating network serving 250,000 homes, businesses and public buildings in the cities of Espoo and Kauniainen and the municipality of Kirkkonummi.

As the data centres will use 100% emission-free power, the waste heat recycling project is expected to displace about 400,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year. Once it is completed, some 60% of the area’s heating will come from sustainable waste heat, including 40% from the data centre region and 20% from other sources such as purified waste water.

The location for the data centre region was specifically selected to make use of Fortum’s district heating infrastructure.

Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin said the data centre investment is a win-win. “It will accelerate Finland's digital growth while making our energy system greener,” Marin added.

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Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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