Norwegian telco Telenor, energy company Hafslund have investment fund HitecVision are building a data center in Oslo, Norway, via a newly formed joint venture, Skygard.

Construction of the data center is underway in Hovinbyen, Oslo, following a NOK 2.4 billion ($200m) joint investment, and is expected to launch operations in the first half of 2025.

Skygard board chair Jannicke Hilland, left, with CEO Elise Lindeberg – Skygard

Ownership of Skygard is divided equally, with Telenor, Hafslund and HitecVision each having 31.7 percent stake, while consultancy firm Analysys Mason holds the remaining five percent.

Telenor is set to be the anchor tenant, and the company says it is in talks with other potential customers.

Specifications of the new facility have not been shared. According to Skygard, the data center will aim to be the most energy efficient in Norway, using 50-70 percent less energy than older data centers, though it has not quantified this further. But it says surplus heat will be utilized in a district heating network operated by Hafslund.

Elise Lindeberg, the director of security from the Norwegian Communications Authority, has been appointed as CEO of Skygard.

She said: “There is extensive digitization in all sectors of society, leading to an increasing number of important and critical services relying on good digital solutions and security. Data storage plays a significant role, and I look forward to contributing to building up Skygard.”

Jannicke Hilland, chair of the board at Skygard and EVP for infrastructure at Telenor, said: “We have great ambitions for Skygard and the timing is highly appropriate: the current geopolitical situation increases the need for secure solutions, whilst we simultaneously see an increasingly pressured market when it comes to capacity.”

State-owned Telenor operates across the Nordics and Asia and has recently entered into an AI partnership with Nvidia. Speaking on the partnership, Hilland said: “Through our collaboration with Nvidia, we will be able to establish independent and Norwegian-owned cloud platforms operated on Norwegian soil, where artificial intelligence is one of the central drivers.”

Plans for the data center were first announced in June 2023 and since then, Skygard has announced it plans to build two more data centers in the region to have a combined capacity of 40MW at full build-out.

Hafslund is a green energy and infrastructure group based in Oslo and is fully owned by the Oslo municipality. Stack’s Oslo data center is also connected to the Hafslund-owned district heating system.