The northern Scandinavian landscape is dotted with fjords, lingonberries and, if you believe some locals, elves. But another sight is increasingly common on the Arctic horizon: data centers.
Drawn by the promise of lower electricity costs, a growing number of tech companies are harnessing the region’s abundant cold air to cool their servers, cutting expensive air-conditioning out of the equation.
Facebook, the latest tech company to take the polar plunge, announced this week that it will build a data center just south of the Arctic Circle in Lulea, Sweden, where the average low in January is 3 degrees Fahrenheit.
…There are “overwhelming financial advantages” to building in the far north, according to Rakesh Kumar, an analyst with Gartner. Utilizing free outside air can result in “tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions [of dollars], of savings per year” for each site, Kumar said.