A data centre acts as a giant computer. It houses thousands of computer servers that by working together can process vast amount of data traffic. The servers are linked with the outside world via fibre optic cables, and can thereby use their combined capacity to make extensive calculations in order to get web services – such as Facebook – to work.
In northern Sweden, the electricity grid has an extremely high redundancy and capacity, which is vital for powering for instance data centers. Among the lowest electricity prices in Europe, 100% renewable hydropower and a highly developed infrastructure are three other aspects that make Norrbotten to a unique place.
Norrbotten is one of the most secure and stable places in the world – geologically, politically, socially and digitally. Sweden has not been to war since 1814, the seismic activity is extraordinarily low, and the country is ranked as number one in Europe regarding technology readiness, ICT use and broadband quality.
The region is well known for its higher education. Luleå University of Technology conducts research and innovation within diverse fields such as distance-spanning technology, long-term digital preservation and lower energy consumption of web technologies. In addition, Luleå Science Park, the University’s next-door neighbor, is one of Sweden’s fastest growing science parks. The region is already one of Scandinavia’s leading skill centers in ICT – Information and Communications Technology.
Norrbotten is at the same latitude as Fairbanks, Alaska, USA, and is the coldest region in Sweden. The climate enables fresh air cooling all year round.
Node Pole is Sweden’s commercial investment and development hub providing dedicated support for investors within emerging energy-intensive industries such as e.g. carbon production, battery production, carbon fiber production and datacenters. Known from data center establishment successes such as Facebook in the north of Sweden, Node Pole is owned by power companies Vattenfall and Skellefteå Kraft – with the purpose of proactively enabling new business into Sweden and for the European market. nodepole.com
– After a rigorous review process of sites across Europe, we concluded that Luleå offered the best package of resources – including a suitable climate for environmental cooling, clean power resources, available land, talented regional workforce and supportive business and corporate environment, says Tom Furlong, Director of Site Operations at Facebook.
2009 Luleå began working towards attracting international companies to the region. Two years later, in October 2011, Facebook announced that they will build its first European data centre in Luleå. Facebook opted for Luleå due to the regions unique characteristics. There is a high standard of Technical competence provided by the University, and a natural climate that can provide fresh air cooling all year round. The reliable electricity grid, the low electricity prices and the clean energy were also big advantages.