The City of Espoo has sold approximately 21.6 hectares of land in Hepokorvenkallio in Högnäs to Microsoft Finland for the building of a data centre. The data centre will help Espoo reach its goal of being carbon-neutral by 2030.
Microsoft will build a data centre in the area – in Hepokorpi along Ring III – and Fortum will utilise the waste heat produced by the centre for district heating. Fortum will distribute the waste heat generated by the cooling of servers via the district heating system.
Carbon-neutral district heating
Espoo aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. Based on a climate impact assessment, the Hepokorpi data centre project plays a key role in achieving this goal. Fortum is committed to producing carbon-neutral district heating in Espoo by 2029.
In the data centre computers, electricity transforms into heat, which can be utilised for heating buildings through the district heating network. In urban areas, the utilisation of waste heat from a data centre is one of the most ecological ways of producing carbon-neutral energy for the district heating network.
Generating ca 40 per cent of the heat needed
Microsoft also plans to build data centres in Kirkkonummi and Vihti. Fortum will recycle waste heat from data centres in Espoo and Kirkkonummi into district heating in Espoo, Kauniainen and Kirkkonummi. Once the data centres operate at full capacity, the carbon dioxide-free waste heat they generate will cover around 40 per cent of the heat needed by the approximately 250,000 users of district heating in Espoo, Kauniainen and Kirkkonummi.
The Business and Competitiveness Subcommittee of the Espoo City Board decided on the sale on 3 October 2022, after which a preliminary agreement was concluded on the sale. The final deed of sale could only be signed once the Hepokorvenkallio detailed plan entered into force, which took place on 8 November 2023, when the Supreme Administrative Court denied leave to appeal against the plan. The land was sold for approximately EUR 30.9 million.