Google to invest in 5 Danish solar parks

Against the backdrop of “Fridays for future” climate demonstrations around the world, Google is stepping up in support of the climate agenda with historic investments in renewable energy around the world, including 5 solar parks in Denmark.

Google’s investment in solar and wind energy now totals to around $ 7 billion. dollars so far.

The new deal, which according to Google, is one of the largest renewable energy investments ever made, has a total output of 1600 MW. Denmark is set to produce one-tenth of this power, as Google has invested in 5 solar parks located in Mors, Gimming near Randers, Rødby Fjord near Norddjurs and in Nætved.

“A company like Google uses a lot of energy because we keep the internet running 24/7. Therefore, we feel a huge responsibility in being as sustainable as we possibly can” said Google’s CEO Malou Aamund in a press release.

Google is also investing in renewable energy projects in USA, Sweden, Finland and Belgium.

Google investment shows how “the internet” can lead the way in the green transition

To counter Googles Danish data center energy use, the IT giant is set to establish the five Danish solar parks. This is not a new practice for a hyperscale company in their efforts to “greening the cloud”. The company Better Energy, is set to establish the three parks in Næstved, Norddjurs and Gimming.

The growth of renewable energy capacity is contributing to lower technology and installation costs, and better integration with existing transmission networks.

Furthermore, the cost of renewable electricity generation is being reduced to a level that in many developed and developing countries are competitive with conventional electricity sources. For example, corporate PPA structures are now a common practice in the data center landscape, as hyperscalers lead the way in renewable energy production when they offset their carbon footprint by “giving back” to the climate. A PPA is a long term buying commitment which helps the developer’s ability to finance power plants and promotes investment in renewables and the transition towards green energy.

As data center capacity continues to grow, investments like these show how the data center (and its business) can contribute to the green transition, both in Denmark and globally. From a domestic standpoint, the investment will not only expand our energy network infrastructure, but also boost sector jobs and the economy overall.

The green data center of the future does not only run efficiently, but is also contributing to the sustainability cause within the host community. Integrating the data center into our energy networks, moving away from being an energy consumer, to a “prosumer” is the way forward for the both the industry and our climate.

Thank you to Google for this significant investment, we look forward to the solar park developments, which will undoubtedly bring forward growth for the Danish economy and further our sustainability cause.


Read Google’s own blog post

Network in focus at the Networking Meetup in Glostrup

Strong connections were in focus – both for humans and machines – at DDI’s networking meetup 10th September 2019 at GlobalConnect in Glostrup. Besides the delicious cakes DDI’s members were offered a glimpse into the future of the next generation of data centers and a strengthening of the personal network among the 55 members that participated. 

Cloud, edge computing and the Internet of Things are influencing the development of tomorrow’s data centers, and at the same time, more international data connections are opening up for new opportunities. This was the framework for this Networking Meetup, where Henrik Hansen, director of DDI, kicked off the day with a status for the association.

“The recent period has been an exciting period – unfortunately with a few cancellations as well, but there is still a lot of investments here in Denmark,” he said, illustrating  his point with an overview map of the many published projects.

“We are currently working on an exciting program for our activities next year. Here, DDI will focus even more on export opportunities, work with the political framework and arrange more study trips, including the Netherlands, France and USA,” said Henrik Hansen.

The first presentation of the day was delivered by the host, GlobalConnect, where Nordic Sales Director, Thomas Caspersen Nielsen, gave an account of a new significant trend in the market.

“Once again we see a great demand for dark fiber left on the menu – not only in the Nordic countries, but also in Amsterdam and Frankfurt. And within the next few months we will be ready with a new connection between Norway and Amsterdam, so we have a lot of capacity, but we also see a great, international need, “said Thomas Caspersen Nielsen.

“At the moment we see a great demand for the new submarine cables coming into Denmark and Norway as well as internally between the countries. A lot is happening right now with connectivity, and for the first time in many years we once again experience a great need for high fiber dark fiber capacity. ”

Through the history of the company, GlobalConnect has supplemented its own growth with around 20 acquisitions and after merging with Broadnet and Nianet, they now have access to 42,000 km of fiber cables in the ground and appetite to challenge in the entire Nordics and Northern Europe.

“Strategically, we are still in infrastructure, but we see a lot happening in the connectivity market. We get customers who do not want an entire server room, but smaller units closer to their operations or customers. Last time we counted, we had customers from 22 countries, so there are many different needs for connectivity, “said the director of GlobalConnect, which operates 19 co-location data centers in 11 cities and has recently acquired Netteam.


Marianne Rønne, Nordic Marketing Manager at Interxion talked about a different approach to the strategy in her business.


“We’re a little different, because we’re building co-lo’s in the capital cities and focusing on main cloud hubs. Right now we’re opening CPH2 as an extension of our data center campus in Copenhagen, but we’re growing out of it, so we’ve purchased new land in Ballerup. Many companies close their onsite data centers, so much data is moving, and from our point of view it makes sense to move from  own ‘basement’ to co-lo, where you have direct access to both local and global cloud. We think that co-los will serve as glue between cloud and connectivity providers, ” sounded the assessment from Marianne Rønne.

Interxion’s Copenhagen campus will also be connected to AquaComms’ new “Mermaid cable”, which illustrates another strong trend.

“All over the world, the investments in underwater cables are increasing tremendously – not only in the Nordic countries, but here we have many investments coming. But of course it is a little ‘hen and egg’ – we are not as developed as the rest of Europe, because we simply have fewer inhabitants here. Conversely, things are gaining momentum, as there are many investments right now, and of course we need connectivity to attract more hyper scale operators”.


Vincent Rais from Uptime Institute’s Department of Technology Resilience and Infrastructure Risk Management was next in line to present his talk on how to make digital infrastructure more resilient.

“If we go back to 1995, there were most value for money in protecting data centers, which accounted for the vast majority of outage. There were very few service providers and a very simple software that sometimes took several years to update, so it was very robust. The infrastructure was for the most part the data center itself,” he determined.

“Now that has changed drastically. According to our estimates, the data center itself accounted for only 33% of outage in 2019, and you really depend on an entire supply chain. In that regard, it was a little shocking to us that many companies we spoke to, did not have that approach to provide a full service across the digital infrastructure. Instead, they focused on the data center itself and did not look at the end-to-end delivery, and many of them therefore expose themselves to a higher risk,” explained Vincent Rais.

He pointed out that outages in digital services tend to hit media headlines and often cost millions of dollars – in addition to the longer-term image loss. Therefore, Uptime Institute also maintains a database of all known outages in order to gather knowledge.

“We have been doing this for a little over two years now on a global scale by collecting everything that hits the media. It is a pretty good source of research, because it happenson a daily basis around the world. We rarely see that it is actual ‘chaos’ monkeys, who cause the problems by pulling out the plugs, but it is all about maturing the organization and getting them into the gear that stability requires,” Vincent Rais pointed out.

“And frankly, you also have to think about how to build stability into your supplier relationships. If it all comes from a single supplier anyway, is it then stable?”


The final presentation of the day was given by Jörgen Strandberg, Advanced Technology Solutions Director at Anixter, who came up with his experience of the trends that take place behind the data center walls.

“90 percent of data stays inside the data center and never leaves it – for example, when a service is requested. And in the past, internal traffic went ‘north-south’ in a traditional data center structure, but now it goes more ‘east-west’ in a flatter structure that provides many more connections. This results in new challenges, for example the much higher Ethernet speed to support the cloud, ” he explained.

Technically, the so-called port breakout technology means that one physical gate can mean e.g. two gates in practice. For example, you can buy 100 GBe gates even if they are not currently used and then split them up.

“It can save up to 50% on both internal network procurement and power consumption, reduce the number of chassis and the gate can be reused in the next generation. We can now buy a switch and configure it at different speeds in the gates – it is no longer 1:1, but this also means that it becomes more complicated. Overall, we have many new options, so it also means we have to make some active choices,” Jörgen Strandberg pointed out.

Odense data center– economic impact and community benefits

With a joint push of a huge “Like button”, Facebook’s new data center in Odense, Denmark, was put into operation on 12th September 2019.  DDI looks at the impact of the data center on a local and national plan, and what other local communities should factor in when attracting data center builds to their regions.

The opening of the Facebook site in Odense highlights that data centers can be run “the green Danish” way, given that the entire energy consumption of the data center is powered by renewable energy, whilst the surplus heat is set to heat 6,900 households in Odense.

“We are always looking for innovative technology for our infrastructure, and we are impressed about the reuse of the surplus heat project. We therefore want to look at how we can use and implement similar solutions across our global CO2 emissions,” said Facebook Vice President Rachel Peterson at the inauguration ceremony in Odense.

The Danish Minister of Climate, Energy and Utilities, Dan Jørgensen, who also participated in the inauguration, was also full of praise for the unique Danish solution with focus on recycling of surplus heat.

Facebook data center – facts and figures

So, what does a data center do to the local and regional community? People working within IT know exactly what a data center is and what it takes to run the actual center. But what do the local communities and their politicians, who are competing for new data center investments, get out of a data center deal?

The internet giant commissioned IHS Markit to evaluate the economic contribution of Facebook’s European data centers in their respective countries from 2011-2018 (IHS Markit 2019) as highlighted in below figure.

Source: The Economic Contributions of Facebook Data Centers in Denmark, Ireland & Sweden, IHS Markit 2019 


The study highlights Facebook’s contribution to Denmark’s economy through its capital expenditures (construction and equipment), operational expenses and direct wages. In addition to these figures, Facebook highlights its contributions to renewable energy targets as well as their Community Action Grant Programme.

What is yet to be factored in those numbers, are the operational expenses once the facility is completed, as well as investments in lifecycle management of the equipment and servers, as a typical data center requires a refresh every 5 years or so. The Facebook site in Odense is expected to create approximately 170 permanent jobs.

Jobs vs. capital investment vs. innovation – the data center effect

During the construction phase, data centers support a significant amount of jobs. However, once the facility is built, permanent jobs can typically range from anything from 5 to 150+ people depending on the facility. In comparison, headquarters, manufacturing plants or other type of shared services, could easily bring well over 1,000 jobs to a local community instead. Thus, many critics wonder why incentives are being offered to companies building data centers, given their low employment rates?

A key goal for policy makers, from a city level to a national level, is to grow tax revenues, and one way to do this is through job creation. This is where capital investment should be considered when discussing the benefits of data center investments. Capital investment is also a driver of tax revenue growth, which is often overlooked.

As highlighted by the Odense facility, data centers are highly capital-intensive. Significant investments go into construction, purchasing of equipment, materials, power consumption, direct local expenditures and more. Whilst one can argue that these are temporary,  data center builds can often last from 5-10 years, which is a significant period of time a local community’s economic activities are stimulated.

Long term impacts and spillover effects should also not be ignored. Data center operators tend to upgrade the surrounding infrastructure to meet their requirements, which often includes roads, water, sewer and power infrastructure systems. These infrastructure developments also tend to support a boost in employment in those sectors.

Finally, data centers tend to seek out locally inspired solutions, new innovations and approaches to their energy and operational efficiencies. From using local vendors, to finding solutions such as the heat recovery project, data centers can indeed inspire and be inspired by their local communities.

A nation or region should therefore (if not more) be motivated to attract data center developments, as it would in any other typical economic development project, given the significant benefits to the economy and local infrastructure systems.

A warm welcome to Facebook in Odense – we are delighted that you placed your facility in Denmark and chose to run it the “green Danish way”.


DataCenterGruppen delivered a complete server room in only 10 weeks

DTU Campus Risø has just expanded its data power with a supercomputer consisting of 524 servers with 16,768 cores. DataCenterGruppen has delivered the server container, all connections and the devices, where the servers are installed and now in operation.

One of Denmark’s largest server parks is located a little north of Roskilde at DTU Campus Risø, which is part of the Technical University of Denmark, where among other things wind energy is being researched and different energy models are being simulated.

In the northern part of DTU Campus Risø, a dozen oversize containers have been gathered in a secluded area during the past six years. Here, the supercomputers of various educational institutions are being kept. The newest container in the server park belongs to DTU, who a few months ago received it in total contract from DataCenterGruppen.

– We made a tendering procedure with three invited companies, where we rated their prices and solution descriptions. DataCenterGruppen was chosen because of their solution, match and economy, says Head of Department Bent Bøgelund Hansen, DTU.

– In addition, DataCenterGruppen’s electricity and cooling departments are responsible for servicing the daily operations, adds engineer Esben Højrup.

The new supercomputer is budgeted for a total of DKK 25 million, of which the price of the server container delivered turn key with all electricity and cooling installations is running up to a little more than DKK 7 million.

Inside the container that is the server room for the new supercomputer at DTU Risø. From the right: Department leader Bent Bøgelund Hansen, AIT net Group, AIT Risø Campus; engineer Esben Højrup, CAS Risø; and project manager Lars Falkenberg Rasmussen, DataCenterGruppen.


Tight Schedule

– From receiving the order on the server container until it was in operation, only 10 weeks passed. We were under pressure, but we kept the schedule, smiles Lars Falkenberg Rasmussen.

The server container is designed to be used for multiple generations of computers.

– It is our experience that a new generation of computers, which the server container is installed with, can last for 1-4 years, after which we have to follow the development and upgrade to a new generation. That’s why we require that the server container can last for 2-3 generations of computers, elaborates Bent Bøgelund Hansen.

The new server container is mounted on top of another server container – and they are even constructed so that a third server container can be mounted on top of the existing ones.


More subcontractors

DataCenterGruppen does not have all the expertise in-house, so the server container itself was delivered by Jytas A/S, who scaled up two 40-foot containers in width and height to the required size, after which they were grouped into one container. The container is designed so that, if necessary, another container can be mounted upstairs.

One of the biggest challenges with the server rooms is the cooling, as the tightly mounted computers are  warming quite a lot.

– The container is for 30 racks, where we have to cool with 500 kW in extremely limited space. Therefore, we always demand to get space for as many servers as possible because refrigeration and installations cost the same regardless of the number, Esben Højrup says.

Therefore, DataCenterGruppen, together with their subcontractor, Weiss Doppeltbodensystem from Germany, constructed a special floor of double units, so the cooling provides double cooling capacity compared to the traditional cooling solution. This means safer, redundant and much more efficient cooling from the two active refrigeration supplies. Behind the servers you can keep the temperature on 37 degrees, while in the corridors you can lower the temperature to 22 degrees.

For the delivery of the 30 racks and additional 8 in-line cooling units (type LCP), DataCenterGruppen chose Rittal A/S, which specializes in infrastructure solutions. At the same time, AB Electric (A/S) has been responsible for the power supply.

– We have had an absolutely perfect collaboration with DataCenterGruppen. So we are ready to return, concludes Bent Bøgelund Hansen, DTU.





Further information can be obtained from:

DataCenterGruppen – Holmstrupgårdsvej 2, 8220 Brabrand

Phone +45 7025 2777

Director, Bent Møller, ,+ 45 4030 9433

Project Leader, Lars Falkenberg Rasmussen,, +45 3061 6079



Journalist, Per Raahauge, + 45 2170 7979

High-resolution photos are available on request



About DataCenterGruppen

DataCenterGruppen provides scalable solutions within refrigeration, electrical installation, monitoring and fire safety to hosting centres and server spaces – either as single services or as turn-key projects, so the customer gets one contact and one responsibility. DataCenterGruppen as a total supplier wants to take the complexity out of the establishment and operation and make it simple to handle.

DataCenterGruppen is nationwide with branches in Copenhagen, Aarhus, Kolding, Grenaa and Holstebro. Behind the company is the highly competent and service-minded company – Multi Køl & Energi A/S.

The company is an authorized refrigeration company with ISO 9001 certification, is a member of the heat pump system VPO and the refrigeration industry quality assurance System KKO. This ensures products and services of the highest quality and that the sizing and installation of systems are correct and in accordance with applicable law. Multi Køl & Energi is also a member of AKB, which is the trade association for authorised refrigeration companies in Denmark. Additionally, it is also connected to the association’s environmental scheme KMO, which follows a series of environmental agreements on environmental management and disposal of refrigerants.