Powering Up the Arctic Circle with the World’s Biggest Data Center
The US-Norwegian company Kolos has big plans for the tiny town of Ballangen, Norway, located near the Arctic Circle. There, on these icy grounds, they’re planning to build the world’s biggest data center. Once completed, this mammoth structure would require 1,000 megawatts of power to run with facilities spanning 600,000 square meters. Yet this immense project won’t reach its final stages for another 10 years at least! In the meantime, we’ll tell you what the future holds for Kolos’s gigantic data center.
Building a Data Fortress in Scandinavia
The official website for Kolos says that the company is eager to construct Norway’s first “fortress for data”. Since this Scandinavian site is surrounded by hills and water, they believe the data center would be protected from threats by a naturally-occurring moat. Ballangen’s frigid weather would also play a role, allowing the company to trim electricity costs by nearly 60%. Data servers need to be cooled, so the fjords’ chilly breezes could be harnessed for this purpose.
Upon finishing this project, Kolos estimates that the data center will vastly improve the area’s economy. It’s expected to create 2,000 to 3,000 new employments, plus help to support 10,000 to 15,000 jobs in nearby Norwegian towns and cities. To help put those numbers into perspective, Ballangen itself only has a population of 2,600 residents.
Finally, Norway is no stranger to ambitious, state-of-art data center projects. They’ve already turned an abandoned mine into a huge, six-floor data center. Located between Måløy and Nordfjordeid, it’s supposed to be Europe’s biggest eco-friendly data facility, according to its builder Lefdal.
The Top 5 Largest Data Centers
With Kolos’s plans moving into action, we wanted to take a look at the world’s current contenders for the largest data center. Ranked by the number of square feet, here are your current top five:
1. The Citadel in Tahoe Reno, Nevada at 7.2 million square feet
2. Range International Information Group in Langfang, China at 6.3 million square feet
3. Switch SuperNAP in Las Vegas, Nevada at 3.5 million square feet
4. DFT Data Center in Ashburn, Virginia at 1.6 million square feet
5. Utah Data Center in Bluffdale, Utah at 1.5 million square feet
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