Why Luleå Is the Number One Choice for Companies like Miner One and Facebook

Feb 13, 2018

What makes a multibillion dollar company like Facebook interested in a small town in Northern Sweden?

It’s not a difficult question for Luleå Municipality’s Business Development Director Andreas Lundqvist to answer…and a great example of turning a harsh environment to your advantage.

Andreas recently hosted the Miner One Team visiting to prepare the site of the first Miner One mining centre. As we crossed the mighty Lule River — sufficiently frozen to drive on, but still flowing beneath the surface — Andreas explained that it is only one of several sources of the abundant and cheap Green Energy that makes the region such a draw for companies like Facebook and Miner One. Europe’s largest single onshore wind farm in Umeå, south of Luleå, provides additional supply, all of which means more electricity than the region knows what to do with.

 

Luleå Municipality’s Head of Business Development Andreas Lundqvist

That’s why Luleå is rolling out the red carpet for the energy-intensive data centre industry. And the region’s environment is what makes Facebook’s data centre here the world’s most energy efficient.

Facebook’s Luleå data centre consumes about 38 percent less electricity and 60 percent less water than a standard data centre. It is 100 percent powered by Green Energy. And a massive 97 percent tax cut on electricity means savings of around 40 percent on electricity for the company.

Even better, Facebook has open sourced all the specifications of its data centre design. That means companies like Miner One can benefit from Facebook’s data centre design innovations as we strive for a maximally efficient and sustainable crypto mining operation.

To keep hardware cool, all that is required is to move outside air inside the building. In the summer, that means basic ventilation. In the winter, it can be enough to just open some windows and let nature take its course. The week we visited, outside temperatures ranged from –20C to –15C, which means even the insides of unheated buildings remain cold.

Miner One Development Manager Jens Eriksson and CEO Pranas Slusnys checking out Facebook’s data centre

What’s good for Facebook is good for Miner One. Like any data centre, a crypto mining facility needs the same low-cost electricity, cool air, and other conditions that make Luleå ideal for Facebook.

“Miner One is very excited about locating in Luleå. Looks like we are in excellent company here and the benefits make this location ideal,” notes CEO Pranas Slusnys.

As for the future of the industry, Luleå Technical University collaborates closely with the industry on data centre research. One such research lab — ICE (Infrastructure and Cloud datacenter test Environment) — is located right next to the future home of Miner One. No doubt research carried out here and elsewhere in the vicinity will help make the blockchain future more environmentally and financially viable!

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