British colocation provider Hydro66 has opened a 1,000 square meter data center near the city of Boden, Northern Sweden, in a region known as ‘the Node Pole’.

The entire facility is powered by energy from nearby hydroelectric dam, and promises PUE as low as 1.07. It is located next door to Facebook’s data center campus in Luleå.

“Conducting research into current and future requirements we heard that CTO’s have four key concerns: cost, carbon footprint, security and connectivity. We decided to design a new kind of data center engineered to meet these requirements in a future-proof and scalable way,” said Andy Long, CEO of Hydro66.

The data center was opened by Swedish finance minister Magdalena Andersson. It was originally expected to welcome first customers in May, but the project was delayed.

Hydro66 in Boden
Hydro66 in Boden – Hydro66

Wet, cold and dark

Hydro66 was established to take advantage of Sweden’s low cost power, cool climate and generous incentives offered by the government. The company’s first facility is located just 50 miles away from the Arctic Circle, where the annual mean temperature stands at -1.3°C. This enables Hydro66 to use free-cooling 350 days per year.

The first phase of the data center offers 1,000 square meters of white space and 3.2MW of power. The campus is located beside a new 120MW substation, and draws power from a 78MW hydroelectric dam on the Lule River – located just 500 meters away.

In terms of connectivity, the facility sits on top of two diverse physical fiber routes with multiple telecom providers available on demand.

“Forward thinking executives are looking at ways of optimizing the cost and location of their data and we see an opportunity for a differentiated approach to legacy DC operators,” said Long.

“With the continuing fall in bandwidth costs it no longer makes sense to rely on prime city center locations. The biggest Internet companies have been implementing similar solutions for several years now, and Hydro66 are making web scale economics available to enterprise hosting clients for the first time.”

Sweden has emerged as an attractive location for data centers thanks to cool climate, political stability, some of the cheapest electricity in Europe and a very stable power grid – Boden hasn’t had a blackout since 1979.

A recent report commissioned by the Swedish government has recommended almost completely eliminating energy taxes on data center operators – something that could reduce the cost of running a data center in the country by another 25 percent.