Iceland is home to some of the most spectacular fjords and natural energy resources in the world. The country has been a leader in renewable energy for decades. Landsvirkjun is entrusted in exploiting these natural resources in a sustainable, responsible, and efficient way and is now offering that energy to Etix for its data centers.
Landsvirkjun is Iceland’s national power company. It partnered with Etix Everywhere Iceland, a subsidiary of Etix Everywhere Borealis, to supply 25 megawatts for its new data center in the north of the country. Operations have already begun in Blönduós, and construction work to expand the data center is now underway. The center will be the first energy-intensive industrial operation to connect to Landsnet’s transmission network in the area.
Etix Everywhere Borealis operates a data center in Reykjanesbær in the south of Iceland. The Blönduós facility will be its largest data center. Etix focuses on HPC and Blockchain infrastructure, and aims at hosting a total capacity of about 30,000 servers.
What makes this deal important is the combination of renewable energy resources. According to both companies, this gives Iceland a competitive edge creating favorable conditions for data centers in the country. With natural cooling that keeps costs low, Iceland can claim to be more efficient than elsewhere.
The energy will come from Landsvirkjun’s power station network, which includes a new geothermal station in Þeistareykir and a second hydropower station in Búrfell. Overall, the company operates 15 hydropower stations, three geothermal stations, and two wind turbines.
According to Hörður Arnarson, CEO at Landsvirkjun:
Demand for energy from Landsvirkjun, generated from renewable, natural resources continues to grow and we look forward to inviting another flourishing company to our already well-established group of international customers. The agreement confirms Iceland’s competitiveness in the global electricity market, reinforcing Landsvirkjun’s operations and supporting the growth of industry in Iceland.
Björn Brynjúlfsson, CEO at Etix Everywhere Borealis, added:
We are in the process of developing a new generation of data centers, utilising Icelandic environmental conditions and our own expertise in the design and development of data solutions. The development of the Blönduós project is a purposeful step in reducing our customers’ environmental footprint and the power terms in the contract allow for substantial expansion.
CleanTechnica Interviews Landsvirkjun & Etix On New Data Center Clean Energy
CleanTechnica caught up with with Árni Jensen, Chief Business Officer at Etix, about how both companies are achieving these goals.
CT: Landsvirkjun has been around for a few decades, can you tell us how you see Iceland’s role in the energy industry and on the international energy market?
AJ: Landsvirkjun’s role is to maximise the potential yield and value of the natural resources we have been entrusted with, in a sustainable, responsible and efficient manner. All of the company’s operations are geared toward fulfilling this role. We are continuously guided by our values of progressiveness, prudence, and reliability as we develop new projects and continue to improve our existing power stations. This is of the utmost importance, both to the Icelandic economy and to our shareholders, the people of Iceland.
However, at 13.8 TWh of production, we are not a particularly large player in the European energy market. We are nevertheless a leader in renewable energy production and understand that the sustainable development of international industries such as data centres is dependent on the reliable supply of clean power.
CT: About Etix, how was the company founded, and what was the original motivation?
AJ: Etix Everywhere Borealis was formed by a group of IT and power industry veterans that believed Iceland had a unique value proposition to offer the DC space. With Iceland ideally located between Europe and North America, the country’s ambient temperature, cost-effective power, and low-risk profile is ideal for many data center facilities projects.
CT: Data centers are coming into media focus now, what has taken so long to make them cleaner?
AJ: The traditional data center industry is very risk-averse and as a result resistant to change. Diesel generators have for the past several decades been the “go to” solution for data center resilience. It is only in the past few years that IT architects have started accepting alternative resilience strategies. The Etix Everywhere Borealis facilities design strategy achieves high resilience without the use of diesel and with much better ROI.