Google announces plans to build green energy data centre in Denmark
Today Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc. announced plans to break ground on a new data center for the global tech giant. The new facility will be located outside the Danish city of Fredericia in the West of the country.
Google has announced it will be investing $690mn in the construction of the data centre, which will be the company’s first in Denmark, and be committed to “matching its energy use with 100 percent carbon-free energy”. According to Joe Kava, global vice president of data centers, “this commitment includes the electricity use of our data centers, too”.
Kava confirms that “whenever Google looks for a new place to build a data center, it's important that the location has high-quality digital infrastructure and supports renewable energy production. Denmark has both of these things and much more”.
In order to support the center’s energy needs, Google is pursuing green investment opportunities in and around Fredericia. “We’re pursuing new investment opportunities in energy projects like onshore wind, offshore wind and solar energy”, said Kava.
These investments, alongside the construction of the data center itself, are predicted to bring energy and construction jobs to the area, with the construction being expected to “support 1,450 jobs per year in 2018-2021”. In addition to economic stimulation to the surrounding area, “once operational, around 150-250 people are expected to be employed at the site in a range of roles—including computer technicians, electrical and mechanical engineers, catering and security staff”.
The center is expected to be operational in 2021 and will be Google’s fifth facility of its kind in Europe, along with Ireland, Finland, the Netherlands and Belgium.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.