Microsoft to build new data centre region in Finland

Alice Chambers
Alice Chambers
By Alice Chambers on 22 March 2022
Microsoft to build new data centre region in Finland
Microsoft

The new data centre region will support public sector institutions, enterprises and individuals in Finland

Microsoft has plans to build a data centre region in southern Finland to support public sector institutions, enterprises, small businesses and individuals with security, privacy and compliance services.

The new facility will feature Azure Availability Zones, networking and cooling facilities, and will join Microsoft’s worldwide network of cloud computing infrastructure of more than 60 regions.

Once completed, the data centre will support the digital transformation of governmental organisations, businesses, customers and partners across Finland.

“Finland is at the forefront of digitalisation and innovation, and the nation’s world-class companies and forward-looking public sector organisations are leading in the digital transformation of their sectors,” said Cindy Rose, president of Microsoft Western Europe. “We are incredibly proud of the novel way this data centre will sustainably power Finnish digital transformation, while also heating Finnish homes and businesses and helping cities achieve their emissions targets. In this unique collaboration, Microsoft and Fortum combine their world leading expertise in cloud computing and sustainable energy solutions, transforming the design thinking of data centres of the future.”

Microsoft has collaborated with Fortum Corporation, which focuses on cleaner energy production, to convert the  waste heat produced in the facility into district heating for the Finnish citiy of Espoo, as well as Kauniainen and the municipality of Kikkonummi. Heat will be transferred to customers through a system of insulated pipes for residential and commercial heating requirements, helping the areas to produce less carbon dioxide emissions.

“By tapping into waste heat from data centres, we can provide clean heat for homes, businesses and public buildings in the capital area of Finland and reduce up to 400,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually,” said Markus Rauramo, president and CEO of Fortum. “This is a significant and practical step for a cleaner world.”

The new data centre  could generate more than €17.2 billion ($18.9 billion) in new revenue and create over 11,000 additional skilled IT jobs to the Finnish economy, according to a recent IDC report.

“The decision to invest in a data centre region that also provides surplus heat to our cities and homes is a win-win,” said Sanna Marin, Prime Minister of Finland. “It will accelerate Finland’s digital growth while making our energy system greener. I also hope that this collaboration can serve as a model to other countries and cities looking to achieve the double transformation of climate neutrality and digital competitiveness.”

Microsoft has more than 45,000 customers and 2,000 partner companies in Finland, such as Nokia, Elisa, Fortum and Valtori.

“We are excited to see Microsoft make this investment in Finland,” said Alan Triggs, chief digital officer at Nokia. “Microsoft’s global data centre network leverages Nokia’s high-performance data centre switching portfolio, while Nokia benefits from Microsoft’s global network of cloud services to drive digital transformation across multiple industries. With this creative, energy-efficient solution we look forward to benefit from reduced latency and increased throughput while further enabling the green transition.”

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