In early 2019, a small group of researchers launched an ambitious project that they hoped would change how data centers are built and regulated.
The idea? Build the world’s most efficient data center. In just a few years, they would hit that milestone, developing a system with a power usage effectiveness (PUE) of just 1.0148.
It didn’t begin that way.
“We always wanted to have a showroom to highlight how our power is very clean here, and free of disturbances,” the director of the Boden Business Agency, Nils Lindh, explained.
“Our view was that you don’t need any backup power or UPS type function here.”
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The Swedish municipality, already home to a number of data centers, envisioned a small deployment on municipal land, simply for the purpose of showing off its stable power, primarily provided by a hydroelectric dam.
To develop the project, the BBA turned to UK firm EcoCooling and Hungarian developer H1 Systems, both of whom had previously worked in Boden.
“And then as we conceptualized this idea and started talking to finance people, one of them pointed out this Horizon 2020 program,” H1’s then-general director László Kozma explained. Horizon 2020 was a huge €60 billion research program that ran from 2014 and 2020….