Telia plans to add the waste heat from its Pitäjänmäki data center in Finland to the local district heating network.
The telco has partnered with energy company Helen to help heat the homes of more than 20,000 Helsinki residents from June 2022. A heat pump produces at least 1.3 times more heat from a data center than it consumes as electricity.
"The central location of the data center makes it possible to supply waste heat to the district heating network," says Eija Pitkänen, Telia's VP of sustainability, said.
Anu-Elina Hintsa, director of Helen, added: “Computer rooms are an excellent regional heat source that we want and are actively looking for more. We already offer our customers renewable heat, and Helen's district heating will be completely carbon neutral by 2035 at the latest."
Telia said that recent changes to electricity taxation of heat pumps helped make the project possible, although it had promised to reuse waste heat at the site since 2016.
The 24MW data center is one of the largest in Finland, and in 2019 was awarded LEED Gold certification. It uses collected rainwater for rinsing water, but not for cooling.