Microsoft invests in Swedish sustainable data centre region
Microsoft on Tuesday a new milestone in its ongoing investment in Sweden’s digital infrastructure. The company confirmed plans to open a sustainable data centre region with facilities in Gävle Sandviken and Staffanstorp.
The new region, which will begin operating in 2021, will bring Microsoft Azure and other cloud service capabilities to Sweden, a move which Microsoft claims will help the country’s businesses “empower employees, engage customers, transform products and optimise operations — all through connected experiences and supported by advanced data privacy and security.”
The project was originally announced in , when Noelle Walsh, CVP, Cloud Operations & Innovation at Microsoft, announced that “We intend for our data centers in Sweden to be among the most sustainably designed and operated in the world with the ultimate ambition of achieving zero-carbon operations.”
Microsoft is continuing to emphasise the environmental sustainability of the Swedish data centre region. Earlier this year, the company announced plans to decarbonise its data centres, making the transition to 100% renewable power in its data centres by 2025, with a further goal of becoming .
“Building on Microsoft’s 35-year history in Sweden and strong partnerships across the energy, manufacturing and retail sectors, we are looking forward to delivering the Microsoft Cloud from this new datacenter region in 2021. We believe that digital transformation should always be both inclusive and sustainable. As such, we will provide digital skills training for up to 150,000 citizens, to help support their employability and empower them to take advantage of the opportunities that this investment brings to Sweden. It’s a game-changer that the new cloud region will be powered by 100% renewable energy, thanks to our partnerships with Vattenfall and a world-class sustainable design,” said Jean-Philippe Courtois, Executive Vice President and President, Microsoft Global Sales, Marketing and Operations, on Tuesday.
According to Microsoft’s own , Microsoft’s Cloud Services are up to 98% more carbon efficient than a traditional enterprise data centre. The company has supposedly selected Sweden as the flagship location for its ongoing sustainability efforts due to the country’s “strong commitments to reduce environmental impact,” highlighting the government’s Fossil Free Sweden initiative.
The Swedish data centre region will also be the first hyperscale cloud region in the world to use Vattenfall’s 24/7 solution. is a Swedish renewable power firm that will use Microsoft’s Azure IoT technology to allow for of renewable energy generation and demand from Microsoft’s facilities.
“Vattenfall aims to enable fossil-free living in one generation, and we are proud to support this goal, with Microsoft as the first hyperscale cloud provider to use the Vattenfall 24/7 matching solution to measure hourly energy consumption for renewable energy matching. In this way, Microsoft is able to translate sourcing of renewable energy into a positive climate impact by providing information on the source of energy not just on a monthly or yearly basis, but on an hourly basis,” said Andreas Regnell, Senior Vice President of Strategic Development at Vattenfall.
GTR and SEGRO agree first UK data centre facility
SEGRO, a property investment and development company, has announced it has come to an agreement with the European data centre platform, Global Technical Realty (GTR) to construct its first UK-based data centre. SEGRO claims that the facility, which will span a total area of 400,711 sq ft, will be located in Slough and is to become “the largest data centre campus in the UK’s premier data centre and communications hub”.
What will SEGRO’s data centre facility be used for?
Supported by the global investment firm KKR, Global Technical Realty says it will be using the facility’s space on a 25-year term to operate bespoke data centres for high-growth global technology companies. The new facility aims to support the growing demand for third-party data centre provision amid ever-increasing growth in data usage and cloud services adoption.
Franek Sodzawiczny, CEO & Founder of GTR, said: “We are excited to be back in the UK alongside our partner KKR and look forward to working closely with SEGRO to deliver this state-of-the-art data centre campus. The data centre space is a fast-moving one. GTR was established to support its customers in providing a data centre solution wherever in the world there is a demand for it. We are delighted that the UK will become home to our flagship concept”.
James Craddock, Managing Director, Thames Valley at SEGRO, said: “We’re pleased to welcome GTR as the latest data centre operator to our thriving estate and our team of experts look forward to developing a stunning new facility for them and their customers. “Homeworking, data streaming, e-commerce and businesses’ reliance on cloud services have all grown during the pandemic, meaning demand for data centres is unabated.
“Slough Trading Estate is home to Europe’s largest data centre cluster and data centres are increasingly regarded as part of our key national infrastructure given the critical role they play in our daily lives”, he added.
The facility is expected to be delivered in two phases with operations beginning by Q4 of next year. The first phase plans to provide 132,575 sq ft of space phase two will create 268,136 sq ft of space. “Vacant possession of the site delivered to the customer by early 2022”, SEGRO said.
The project is also expected to create around 200 jobs during its construction, and a further 80 permanent roles once completed.