Excess heat from new data centers will be used to enable food production in Sweden. A new collaborative project between Swedish EcoDataCenter and circular industry player WA3RM will focus on large-scale cultivation, which, among other things, is expected to contribute to Sweden’s self-sufficiency in food significantly.
“To digitize society sustainably, we need to rethink how we build data centers so that the surplus heat produced can be used efficiently in circular systems. In WA3RM, we have found a partner that shares our view on sustainability and entrepreneurship and that can also meet our growth ambitions,” Dan Andersson, CEO of EcoDataCenter, says.
The goal of the collaboration between WA3RM and EcoDataCenter is to create a new standard for the next-generation data center. This includes circular solutions, such as a circular system with vegetable and fish farming on an industrial scale, already on the drawing board. The companies will also investigate the possibility of using waste heat to create further circularity. WA3RM and EcoDataCenter plan to launch their first joint project shortly.
“Data centers are generally an under-utilized resource with fantastic potential for bio-based systems like ours, which in Sweden require a lot of heat input and therefore draw much energy as stand-alone operations. Through our collaboration, we can also take significant and essential steps towards making Sweden self-sufficient in several food products,” Thomas Parker, CEO of WA3RM, says.
Circular processes on a larger scale
More and more organizations are looking to move their data to northern Europe in search of sustainable and cost-efficient data operations. With a focus on reaching net zero and reducing carbon emissions, the cooperation between Wa3rm and EcoDataCenter will help organizations reduce emissions and be a part of a large-scale system also avoiding emissions.
“We want to make the waste stream as impactful as possible, and through this collaboration, we will take a massive step towards that. It is of the utmost importance to also industrialize circular processes on a larger scale rather than only implementing smaller circular systems because of the symbolic value” Dan Andersson concludes.
Heat reuse for food production is not a new concept. Hima Seafood is building the world’s biggest land-based trout farm less than a kilometre from Green Mountain's data center in Norway and will use the excess heat from the data centers when operation starts in 2023.