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Facebook’s Data Centre Goes 100% Green

29 February, 2016

As part of Facebook’s aim to run over half of its total operations via renewable energy by 2018, the internet social media giant has released plans to open a new 100% green energy powered data centre in Clonee, Ireland. This new project comes in at an estimated cost of over 200 million Euros, making it a substantial investment, and quite a powerful statement of intent, from one of the biggest and most powerful web giants in the world.

The Irish site will be Facebook’s second European data centre. It follows on from their existing centre in Sweden which is also powered with clean energy, all drawn from local hydro-electric sites.

Facebook's vice-president of infrastructure, Tom Furlong, when announcing the plans for the site said that the top of the range facility will be powered with 100 per cent renewable energy using Ireland's "robust" wind resources. He also commented that everything down to the ‘server racks’ had been specifically designed from the ground up to allow this innovative project to be one of the most efficient data centres in the world.

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Facebook isn’t the only major tech corporation that is using Ireland as a renewables hotspot. Apple also recently announced a mammoth $1.7bn plan which involves the building of two enormous data centres in two European locations. Reports indicate that one of these two plans will indeed be in Ireland, making it a neighbour of Facebook, and the other is thought to have been pencilled in for Denmark. Both of these sites will also be bespoke built so that they can be powered entirely by renewable energy sources.

These announcements are notable as the topic of ‘digital sustainability’ becomes increasingly high profile, given the growing digital scale and as demands placed on such services accelerate. Tech giants including Facebook, Apple and Google will all be under increasing scrutiny to provide energy efficient, climate protecting methods by which they can continue to expand the vast infrastructure required to support their continued growth.

That said, it’s great to see that some of these industry leaders already appear to be embracing these needs and considerations in the immediate term. We’re also pleased to see their continued investment to ensure they have future plans and frameworks in place to continue to tackle the issue and provide new methods of delivering on the needs of digital growth whilst remaining an green as possible.

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