Facebook boots up a 100% renewable energy data centre in Ireland

Facebook boots up a 100% renewable energy data centre in Ireland

Facebook has announced plans to build a €200m green data centre in Ireland, which will be powered with 100 per cent renewable energy and use chilly Irish air to cool its operations.

The data centre, which will be based in Clonee, just outside Dublin, will become Facebook’s second European data centre when it goes online sometime in late 2017 or early 2018, the firm said on Sunday 23 Gen.

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In a blog post announcing the move, Facebook’s vice-president of infrastructure, Tom Furlong, said the new facility will be powered with 100 per cent renewable energy using Ireland’s “robust” wind resources.

He added that the Clonee site will be packed full of cutting-edge technology to ensure it is one of the most advanced, efficient and sustainable data centres in the world. “All the racks, servers, and other components have been designed and built from scratch as part of the Open Compute Project, an industry-wide coalition of companies dedicated to creating energy- and cost-efficient infrastructure solutions and sharing them as open source,” he said.

Facebook’s only other European data centre, located in Luleå in Sweden, also runs on clean energy from local hydro-electric sites. By the end of 2018 Facebook aims to power half its operations with renewable energy.

The announcement follows reports over the weekend that the amount of energy consumed by the world’s data centres will treble in the next decade, causing severe pressure on the planet’s energy supplies.

Professor Ian Bitterlin, a data centre engineer and visiting professor at the University of Leeds, told the ‘Independent on Sunday’ that the amount of energy used by data centres is doubling every four years. “If we carry on going the way we have been it would become unsustainable – this level of data centre growth is not sustainable beyond the next 10 to 15 years. The question is, what are we going to do about it?” he said.

He suggested that in the future internet use may need to be rationed with some form of tax or data charge, to curb the amount of energy expended on data centres.

 

Source: Business Green

Date: February 2016

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