10 oktober 2017

Previder strengthens its position as the greenest data centre in the Netherlands

written by Pieter de Haer

Previder attaches great importance to sustainability. We are already using the residual heat from one of our data centres to heat and cool our office premises and, in 2016, we were the first data centre in the Netherlands to have its own solar farm. In order to strengthen our sustainable position, we switched to 100 percent deep green electricity this year and expect to install our second data centre with solar panels in 2018.

The Netherlands uses 120 billion kWh of electricity every year. Data centres are responsible for a small percentage of this consumption but this is rising rapidly due to the increase in capacity utilisation and the construction of new data centres. Sustainability is becoming increasingly important; on the one hand, with a view to saving on costs and, on the other, to lower the carbon footprint of digitisation. We started investing in sustainability early. For example, our PDC1 data centre was awarded a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ certificate for building sustainability when it was opened in 2013. It was the first data centre in the world to be given such a high accolade from BREEAM. “Previder uses 100 percent deep green electricity and state-of-the-art technology to reduce its electricity consumption,” Tim Timmerman, Previder’s director, explains. “We are investing more and more in Green IT and sustainability. Our data centres are among the greenest in the Netherlands.”

Deep green electricity and solar farm

Previder has been using green electricity since its first data centre was opened in 2010. In 2017, Previder switched over to 100 percent deep green electricity that is generated by wind turbines and solar panels. Unlike regular green energy, this type of power is guaranteed to have been generated in a sustainable manner and does not originate from trade in Guarantees of Origin. As a rule, energy suppliers do not usually inform companies about the actual origin of electricity, including green power. A year earlier, one of Previder’s data centres was fitted with 1,272 solar panels. Timmerman explains, “We want to lead the way when it comes to sustainable ICT. We do this by using 100 percent deep green electricity and also by generating solar energy ourselves. We are now considering fitting our second data centre with solar panels as well. Its larger surface area means we would need more than 2,500 panels.”

Reusing residual heat

There is an additional sustainable element to the larger of Previder’s two data centres, which is located right next door to Previder’s office tower. The residual heat from the data centre is used to heat the twelve-storey office tower. This also produces considerable energy cost savings, which are passed on indirectly to Previder’s customers. According to Timmerman, more and more companies in the Netherlands are beginning to appreciate the added value of Green IT: “Our customers directly benefit from the investments we make in sustainability. Sustainability is no longer a cost item but a price advantage. And what is even better is that it is also socially responsible.”

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