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April 16, 2015

DigiPlex opens pioneering data centre in Norway

Facility uses cool Nordic climate to reduce energy consumption by 25%.

By Joao Lima

Set to be a world first in data-centre funding strategies, DigiPlex’s new data centre was opened today in Norway by Minister for Climate and Environment, Tine Sundtoft.

The infrastructure is the latest environmentally friendly solution to enter the country’s largest owner and operator of data centres.

The Fetsund centre, in the suburbs of Oslo, has a power utilisation effectiveness (PUE) ratio of just 1.1, lower than most data centres.

The company deployed its own Air to Air cooling system that uses the naturally cool Nordic climate to reduce energy consumption by about 25%.

Like DigiPlex’s other data centres, all the power consumed by the new complex is originated by renewable sources.

The Fetsund complex was built to be further expanded, as more storage is need. It features two three-storey, air cooled buildings with a total power availability of 18 megawatts.

The risk of fire is also low after deployment of DigiPlex’s De-Ox system that creates a low-oxygen atmosphere.

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The data centre is believed to be the first and only in the world to have had its construction financed by the issue of publicly traded bonds.

Rather than using equity or bank debt, DigiPlex issued floating-rate notes on the Oslo Stock Exchange raising approximately $84m.

It was also the first time any European data centre company had issued a publicly traded bond for any purpose.

The new financing scheme was achievable after a special agreement with EVRY, giving the IT enterprise 4,200 m2 of IT space, served by 11 megawatts of power for 21.5 years.

Byrne Murphy, Chairman of DigiPlex, said: "It was gratifying to hear the minister acknowledge all the hard work by our team in creating a data centre that has such an outstanding environmental performance. I’m also proud of the speed with which we managed to construct the project, and the way we used our track record to access finance in the bond market. It is an excellent model for future projects.

"The Nordic climate, abundant energy from renewable sources and political stability make the region an excellent location for data centres, and they have great potential here – something that deserves wider international recognition."

Tine Sundtoft, Norway’s Minister for Climate and Environment, said: "Our electricity is almost 100 percent renewable. It is good for the climate to have such data centres located in the Nordics. We would like more of them as they can become the foundation for a new industry.

"We can become an exporter of environmentally friendly data services. We are known as the green battery of Europe – we can become the green data centre of the world."

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