Some PCs can generate enough heat to warm a room or small apartment. Some higher-ups have taken notice and are finding ways to put that heat to productive use. Microsoft has teamed up with Finland’s Fortum to reduce carbon emissions by recycling heat from data center servers to around 250,000 users in Espoo, Kauniainen, and Kirkkonummi. The data center will be connected to a shared public district heating system.
“We are securing a fast and reliable transition to a carbon-neutral economy by providing customers and societies with clean energy and sustainable solutions,” said Fortum.
“Developing solutions for the global climate challenge together with partners is a strategic priority for Fortum, and we are proud to embark on this exceptional journey together with Microsoft,” says Markus Rauramo (President and CEO of Fortum).
“Sometimes the most sustainable solutions are simple ones: By tapping into waste heat from data centers, we can provide clean heat for homes, businesses, and public buildings in Espoo’s and the neighboring communities’ district heating network in Finland, and reduce about 400,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually. This is a significant step for a cleaner world, made possible by our joint ambition to mitigate climate change.”
Once the system is in operation, it will provide around 60% of the heat in it. About 40 percent will come directly from the data center, with the rest coming from other climate-friendly sources such as waste heat from purified wastewater.
“The decision to invest in a data center that also provides surplus heat to our cities and homes is a win-win,” says Sanna Marin (Prime Minister of Finland). “It will accelerate Finland’s digital growth while making our energy system greener. I also hope that this collaboration can serve as a model to other countries and cities looking for means to achieve the double transformation of climate neutrality and digital competitiveness.”