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Google plans to heat a Finnish district with its Hamina data centre

Google Hamina data centre

Google has announced that it will use its Hamina data centre in the Gulf of Finland to source sustainable heat for the district, in addition to being a hub for digital information. The search giant has partnered with city-owned energy provider Haminan Energia to implement the project; it will both reduce Google’s environmental footprint and help to warm up people in a pretty cold country.

The web firm said that the Hamina data centre operates with 97% carbon-free energy, which means that the recovered heat will also be 97% carbon-free. The recovered heat will help to meet 80% of the annual heat demand of the local district heating network, according to Haminan Energia – this will take pressure off energy sources.

Google won’t be using this scheme to make money; instead, it will be providing the heat free of charge to the district heating network in Hamina to benefit households, schools, and public service buildings.

The ability to capture heat from the data centre is not new. Google has already been doing this to warm up its offices and buildings on site. Now, it wants to redirect this excess heat into the heating network so the whole community can benefit.

Speak of the community, the Mayor of Hamina, Ilari Soosalu, said:

“Google and the city of Hamina have a long and flourishing history together. Google is an excellent example of a company with a strong sustainable future orientation. It feels good to be the hometown of Google in Finland.”

By 2030, Google wants to achieve net zero emissions across all of its operations and value chain. As part of this goal, it will run all of its offices and data centres on carbon-free energy 24/7.

According to a Google search, temperatures in Hamina, Finland, in January and February reach as low as -10C (14F) and only reach highs of -4C (24.8F). The free heating will likely be appreciated by the locals, who could see lower prices.

Source: Google

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