Equinix Data Centre Heat Warms Buildings and Swimming Pools

Heat from Equinix data centres is heating vital infrastructure, and even the 2024 Paris Olympics
The Equinix Heat Export programme unlocks the value of residual heat generated in its International Business Exchange (IBX) data centres

Equinix is championing sustainable initiatives through its Heat Export programme and calling on municipal planning agencies, energy utilities and heat network operators worldwide to join in harnessing residual heat to be reutilised.

Equinix's pioneering Heat Export programme captures residual heat from its IBX data centres, redirecting it to surrounding buildings and providing an eco-friendly alternative to conventional heating methods.

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This initiative is part of Equinix's broader effort to promote sustainability and reduce environmental impact.

Leveraging residual heat 

“Our Heat Export programme is one important way data centres can give back to their local communities,” said Gary Aitkenhead, SVP, EMEA IBX Operations at Equinix. “However, it is only possible through collaboration with energy providers, governments and other third-party enablers. 

Gary Aitkenhead, SVP, EMEA IBX Operations at Equinix

Equinix’s scheme has already been successfully implemented across Europe and the Americas, including France, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland and Canada. 

Ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympics, excess heat from Equinix’s IBX in the French capital, PA10, will be transferred to the Plaine Saulnier — a suburb undergoing significant redevelopment and of strategic importance, especially ahead of the Games — and the Olympic Aquatic Centre.

Collaboration key to Equinix’s heat reuse scheme

To ensure this energy-efficient and green way of heating vital infrastructure continues, Equinix is actively seeking partnerships with heat network operators, energy utilities and local municipalities to expand its Heat Export programme. 

By working together, Equinix strongly feels these entities can transform data centres into valuable heat sources.

Gary added: “We are asking for more partners to join the programme and re-use the heat from our operations for the good of people and our planet.”

This also aligns with the global brand’s Future First sustainability strategy, where it invests in energy efficiency, renewable energy and innovative technologies. 

The company has set a science-based target for emissions reduction across its global operations and supply chain by 2030. As well as this, Equinix is a founding signatory of the EU Climate Neutral Data Centre Operator Pact, which aims to guide the EU data centre industry towards climate neutrality by 2030.

What are the benefits of heat reuse from data centres?

At a time where many globally are facing rising energy prices and continued global disruptions, Equinix advocates for reusable heat as it provides a cheaper and more sustainable fuel source. 

Jens-Peter Feidner, Managing Director for Germany at Equinix, said: “With planned legislation proposing strict regulations around how much surplus heat must be repurposed by data centres, policymakers need to consider a holistic approach that involves all actors needed to realise such projects. Failing to do so would only weaken an industry crucial for digitisation.”

Jens-Peter Feidner, Managing Director for Germany at Equinix

By embracing a circular economy model, data centres can redirect surplus residual heat to work toward environmental goals and address fuel poverty. Reusing heat is a cost-effective solution while keeping environmental responsibility at the forefront.

For Equinix, implementing heat reuse strategies allow data centres to transform their operational by-products into valuable resources.

Benefits of data centre heat reuse:
  • Reduced carbon footprint
  • Energy efficiency
  • Sustainability
  • Cost savings
  • Revenue streams
  • Infrastructure investment
  • Community support
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Innovation and collaboration
  • Regulatory compliance

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