Europe is Beating Swords into Green Data Centers

Repurposing military facilities into green data centers appears to be a growing trend in Europe. We recently noted a Swiss data center built in an old military bunker and an Icelandic facility in a decommissioned NATO base. Now Sweden offers another variation on this theme: an underground data center with a Cold War pedigree.

The Pionen White Mountains data center in Sweden is built 30m underground in a what is described as a "Cold War nuclear bunker". The underground location in northern country allows natural cooling for much of the year. You can see spectacular photos published by ArchDaily and watch a video extolling Sweden as an ideal data center location: "The environmental benefits coupled with low electricity prices, stable political situation and no history of disruptive natural disasters have seen Sweden become a sought after location for data centres."

It is likely that military sites have been previously assessed as having low risk of geological disruption.

Update 2010.12.15
The Pionen data center has recently gained notoriety as a repository of WikiLeaks data.

Is this phenomenon largely confined to Europe? Post a comment about other military facilities being recycled as green data centers.

All Sorts of Facilities Converted to Data Centers

@ecologee writes to me that German companies are repurposing all sorts of facilities as data centers: has used an old US Amy flight-hangar near Nuremberg for many years, but it's not a green data-center

1&1 is converting a never-used nuclear waste facility near Frankfurt/Main: operates in Bremen (Northern Germany) one of the most green data centers on earth in an old harbor storehouse.*

and identifies others elsewhere in Europe:

another very outstanding example in Spain near Barcelona: data center in an old chapel

* Update 2010.05.14
@ecologee sent me an article about BRM. The facility uses a combination of a high operating temperature, free-air cooling, and other techniques to minimize energy needs for cooling. (More on innovative ICT facility cooling).

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