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Largest data centre in the world proposed

It will be a brand-new class of hyper-scale data centre, with sustainability at the core of its design, build and operations

Artist's impression of the proposed Kolos data centre in Norway
Artist's impression of the proposed Kolos data centre in Norway

US-Norwegian company Kolos is planning to build the largest data centre in the world in Ballangen, Norway, 225km north of the Arctic Circle.


The facility – slated to open 2018 – is a brand-new class of hyper-scale data centre, with sustainability, cost-effectiveness and security at the core of its design, construction and operations.


Based in northwest Norway, it is the latest iteration in a boom of Nordic data centres servicing major network-centric Internet companies. The 100 per cent “green” data centre location, with its abundant hydropower and dark fibre infrastructure, will provide for the lowest OPEX in the world. The project claims to offer highly scalable and attractive margins, with a 50 per cent cost advantage over other satellite data centres.


Havard Lillebo, co-CEO of Kolos, said: “We analysed locations around the world and identified Ballangen as unique, due to Norway’s competitive green energy, cool climate and its large technical workforce. Also, the site’s secure moated property and access to international high-performance fibre make it especially compelling.”


The planned Kolos facility will stretch over some 600,000 square meters and is designed as a four-story structure integrated into the natural environment.


Mark Robinson, co-CEO of Kolos, added, “The team understands the importance of building the world’s most powerful data centre with respect for the community and environment. We can scale up to two gigawatts of excess power from hydroelectric generation facilities within 25 kilometers of the planned site.


“No data centre on earth has access to such abundant, clean and inexpensive power.” By 2025, experts forecast that activity on the web, mobile, cloud and the Internet of Things will generate 180 zettabytes of data per year – more than 10x the data being created today.


"The demand is evident – and existing and future data centres in top cities are constrained by aging electrical infrastructure, high real estate prices, and lack of sustainable energy alternatives.”


Headwaters MB, a leading investment banking firm in the US, is advising Kolos on securing the additional capital needed to complete the project and said that Kolos represents a one-of-a-kind opportunity to change the “data centre paradigm globally”.


“Currently operators are hosting data centre infrastructure in some of the largest, most densely populated cities across Europe, with staggering real estate and energy costs.


“The Kolos project will be the largest data centre in the world, and one completely powered by hydroelectric and wind power. This is the game changer that will serve as a model for the industry to reduce carbon emissions and eliminate reliance on fossil fuels.”



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