First self-powered data center opens

What does it take to open the world’s first self-powered data center? For Aruba S.p.A., it involved three elements:

  • Flowing river water
  • Photovoltaic solar panels
  • Always cold, pumped-to-the-surface underground water as the principal cooling source

Aruba’s newest data center, named the Global Cloud Data Center (IT3) is located near Milan, Italy, and claims to be 100 percent green. The 49-acre ANSI/TIA-942 Rating 4 standard facility (at 200,000 square meters) opened earlier this month.

Low-impact credentials at the site come largely because the data center has its own dedicated hydroelectric plant. The facility is located on the banks of the River Brembo, an Aruba representative told me. Electricity is generated from the running river water through the operation of turbines. That power is stored and then injected into the national grid infrastructure. Electricity is supposedly guaranteed for the campus by the national grid in exchange for the input.

The system, along with the power from solar panels, can produce up to 90 MWs of power. The “river of energy” flows “more or less” constantly, Aruba says.

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