Helsingin Energia wins Green Enterprise IT Award

Helsingin Energia aims to expand its innovative data center technology utilizing the heat generated by computers for heating buildings and water.

Helsingin Energia received prestigious recognition by the international IT sector for its energy-efficient operation today, when Project Manager Juha Sipilä accepted the a 2010 Uptime Institute Green Enterprise IT (GEIT) Awards at the annual Uptime Institute Symposium.

The award was granted for the technology, created by Helsingin Energia, which innovatively uses the heat generated by computers for heating buildings and domestic water.

The first solution utilizing this concept was implemented in partnership with the ICT service company Academica Oy, with Pasi Hurri, member of the Board, receiving a special commendation at the Symposium.

Academica Oy’s data center is situated in Helsinki, in cave premises in the Uspenski bedrock. The heat produced by the computers is piped into the district heating network to heat up buildings and domestic water in Helsinki. The computers are cooled by district cooling produced by heat pumps, cold seawater and thermal energy from energy generation that would otherwise be wasted. In terms of energy efficiency, the data center is top-class in the world.

The Uptime Institute’s 2010 Green Enterprise IT Awards were cosponsored by Jones Lang LaSalle and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Applications for the Awards were evaluated by an independent panel of expert judges selected by the Institute.

The IT sector competition was organized by the internationally renowned Uptime Institute. The Uptime Institute (uptimeinstitute.org) is the leading independent think tank and research body serving the global data center industry. Its annual Uptime Institute Symposium is the landmark conference on enhanced IT efficiency and productivity. The Symposium seeks and supports measures to improve energy efficiency in the IT sector and promotes information exchange and the adoption of energy-efficient practices and innovations on a global level. Helsingin Energia won the category ‘Beyond the Data Center’. The entries were IT sector projects that save energy in significant business areas at the level of the whole organization.

Eco-efficient Data Centers an export item?

Helsingin Energia aims to expand the data center technology. Beneath the city of Helsinki lies a ready-made district cooling and -heating network and an abundance of subterranean premises. Operators both at home and abroad have also expressed an interest in eco-efficient data center operation. At its current capacity, Helsingin Energia can direct 100 MW of district cooling to data centers. This volume would be equivalent to district heating output that could heat a town of 30,000 inhabitants.

“Eco-efficient data centers can save a considerable volume in electric energy and utilize wasted heat. It is possible that in the future, a significant proportion of the buildings in Helsinki will be heated by thermal energy generated by data centers”, says Project Manager Juha Sipilä. “In the IT sector, eco-efficiency is literally a hot topic, and this concept of ours has aroused a great deal of interest around the world”, Sipilä goes on.

Additional information:

Helsingin Energia, Project Manager Juha Sipilä, tel. + 358 40 334 6663, juha.sipila@helen.fi, www.helen.fi
Academica Oy, Pasi Hurri, tel. + 358 40 530 1576, pasi.hurri@BaseN.net