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October 28, 2011

Facebook to build first overseas data centre near Arctic circle

Largest data centre in Europe to be built in Sweden to take advantage of the cold climate and renewable energy sources

By CBR Staff Writer

Social networking company Facebook will build its first overseas server farm in northern Sweden.

The company hopes to leverage the chilly climate near the Arctic Circle to reduce power consumption to keep the equipments cool, said the Guardian.

The first data centre of Facbook outside the US, and the largest in Europe, will be powered mainly by renewables.

Facebook said that the data centre will be built in the northern Swedish city of Lulea, which is just 100km south of the Arctic Circle. The cold climate of the location and its access to renewable energy made Lulea the ideal location for Facebook. There are several hydropower facilities near the city and a reliable power grid. Winter temperatures at Lulea dip below freezing and summertime highs rarely rise above 80F (25 C).

The data centre will cover 30,000 sq m and handle all data processing from Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

"It is our first data centre to draw its power primarily from renewables, and it features design evolutions like a 70% reduction in our reliance on backup generators," a Facebook spokesman said.

The data centre is expected to take three years to build.

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