Vattenfall – a key player in Norrbotten County’s growing Data Centre Industry

Vattenfall is one of Europe’s leading power suppliers and one of the absolute largest producers of heat. The state owned company has a strong balance in energy resources, with attractive sustainable power in their portfolio sourced by hydro and wind.

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”Vattenfall is strongly focused on sustainability and continuously grow within the field of renewable energy. That gives us an attractive offer towards our industrial clients on the international market” says Rick Abrahamsson, Regional Development Lead, Vattenfall AB Strategy Nordic.

Describe the company and what role Vattenfall plays when it comes to establishment of new industries?
”Vattenfall has a long history and vast experience in working with industries that have high power demands due to close dialog and cooperation regarding energy issues with Swedish, Nordic and European basic industry; iron and steel, forest, paper and pulp. As I mentioned earlier, Vattenfall has a strong focus on sustainable solutions, it is part of our core offer to our industrial clients who are looking to establish new units. The Data Centre Industry is one example of a new field currently undergoing major expansion that also seek our competence regarding energy and power solutions.”

Photo-Rick-Abrahamsson-Vattenfall-ABCan you tell us a bit more about the needs of the Data Centre Industry and how that correlates with your offer?
”The Data Centre Industry require a lot of energy and seek cost-efficient and sustainable alternatives when they look for new locations. Thanks to Vattenfall’s renewable power production, a strong balance in energy sources, which means free capacity and attractive long-term investment plans, we have an offer that is highly interesting to these companies. It is evident to us that the value of green energy just keeps increasing. Sweden is at the forefront in this field, and that of course favours Swedish Lapland with all its supply of hydro and wind power. We also have vast experience in other fields of industry with large energy demands due to our long collaboration with the mining and steel industry in the region. Just like them, the Data Centre Industry require stability and dependability – something that we can guarantee due to the high quality of our grid, something that also continuously is being developed.”

Describe how Vattenfall interoperates with other actors when it comes to establishment of new data centres?
”We are a part of a very close co-operation with national as well as regional and local actors that actively work to facilitate more data centres. Those actors are Business Sweden, Telia, municipalities, The Node Pole, ÅF, ABB power companies and many more. It is a well functioning cluster, with short ways of decisions and a well-defined process that handles every establishment smoothly. ”Time to market” is fast, here in the region it’s possible to build and reach ones market in extremely short time – a lot thanks to the fact that the infrastructure as well as the capacity is already in place. Together we have worked on several different data centre projects in the region and we are able to leave references, Facebook for example, that confirms that we have a streamlined process that really works.”

What are the greatest challenges looking ahead?
”It is important from both a Swedish and regional perspective to continue the research concerning energy efficiency – that is Sweden’s position that we all have to work together to strengthen. Vattenfall has vast experience of research collaboration with the steel industry. Now we look forward to also contributing in the development of solutions for the Data Centre Industry, something that is already well on the way. Amongst other issues we will further examine in what way we can harvest and utilise the heat that is generated in a data centre. Investments in infrastructure and distribution are also needed in order for Vattenfall and Sweden to stay in the forefront. We have no plans to let go of our current lead position and we are working on long-term investment plans that also take into account the worlds development and the demand of our customers.”

Facts about Vattenfall

Vattenfall is one of Europe’s largest generators of electricity and one of the largest producer of heat.
Our strategic direction includes: a strong customer focus, a more sustainable energy portfolio and increased business focus