Swedish utility Skellefteå Kraft has announced a plan to build a large wholesale colocation campus in Northern Sweden, in partnership with German data center builder NDC Data Centers GmbH.

The park will have a capacity of up to 120MW and will run solely on renewable energy. It will be located on land owned by Skellefteå Kraft, next to a hydro power plant in Finnfors, Skellefteå, a region which currently has no data centers, but is about 150km from the giant Facebook facility in Luleå.

NDC's reference site in Darmstadt
NDC's reference site in Darmstadt – NDC

Moving into data

In 2016, Skellefteå Kraft, along with Vattenfall, bought the Node Pole, a Swedish data center marketing body, but this is Skellefteå's first venture into data center building, Christoffer Svanberg told DCD. Svanberg is currently chief communications officer at the Node Pole, but will head up the joint venture building and selling the campus.

The land is already selected, and the company is preparing to spend up to €10 million ($11.2m) on the project, with a plan to prepare the ground completely including the availability of power and fiber, and start building once a first customer is signed up. "I believe we can open in 2020," said Svanberg.

NDC Data Centers is little known outside Germany, but has won recognition for its efficient products, and has a patented liquid cooling system that can remove up to 50kW per rack, Svanberg told us. "Current demand is around 5kW to 10kW per rack, with HPC needing 15kW to 20kW, but I believe the demand for high density efficient data centers will grow," he said.

Founded in 2016, NDC builds data centers that are cooled by liquid, with a patented system using rear-door heat exchangers and the fans included in the servers. They don't need air conditioning, a raised floor or high ceiling and have half the footprint of comparable facilities, NDC technical director Herbert Radlinger told DCD at our Energy Smart event in Stockholm.

The technique suits multi-story buildings and achieves a PUE of 1.07 in the reference facility in Darmstadt. In the Nordic climate, it should do at least that well, he said.