Fortum and Microsoft's collaboration will heat homes, Source: Fortum

New data centre in Espoo to produce heat for local homes and businesses

New data centre in Espoo to produce heat for local homes and businesses

Microsoft and Fortum have collaborated to accelerate Finland’s digital and green transition

On 17 March, the software company Microsoft and the Finnish energy company Fortum announced their plans to collaborate on a project that will accelerate both the digital transformation and the energy transition of the Nordic country. More specifically, Microsoft will open a new data centre region in Espoo which, thanks to the operations of Fortum, will also have the capacity to provide district heating to homes and business premises in the area.

In a press release, the Finnish energy company explains that it will capture the excess heat generated by Microsoft’s data centre region. From there, it will transfer the clean heat from the server cooling process to Espoo, Kauniainen, and Kirkkonummi. President and CEO of Fortum, Markus Rauramo commented on the joint project, noting:

“Sometimes the most sustainable solutions are simple ones: By tapping into waste heat from data centres, we can provide clean heat for homes, businesses and public buildings in Espoo’s and the neighbouring communities’ district heating network in Finland, and reduce about 400,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually. This is a significant step for a cleaner world, made possible by our joint ambition to mitigate climate change.”

According to Fortum, the waste heat capture will allow around 60% of the area’s heating to be generated by climate-friendly waste heat. Expanding on this, it revealed that 40% of this will result from the data centre region while only 20% will come from other waste heat sources.

Helping Espoo become carbon-neutral

Prime Minister Sanna Marin praised the collaboration between Fortum and Microsoft, sharing that it will accelerate the country’s digital growth and make its energy system greener. In other words, the joint project will promote both Finland’s digital and green transition. Similarly, the Mayor of Espoo Jukka Mäkelä stated:

“The new data centre region further strengthens Espoo’s position as an innovative pioneer in sustainable development. There is fierce competition in the world for data centre investments, but as a result of the excellent cooperation and investment environment, a solution was created that benefits everyone from the Finnish level to the local population.”

Expanding on his point, Mäkelä shared that the use of clean waste heat as district heating will allow the municipality to achieve its goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2030.



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