Even as data centers are placed in increasingly exotic locations and tied to peripheral issues ranging from tourist attractions to economic-growth strategies, this one's a real doozy: a new Helsinki data center built in a former bomb shelter under a historic cathedral will heat several hundred Helsinki homes while being cooled by frigid Baltic seawater.
Outside, the temperature is a bone-chilling minus 14C and Helsinki is struggling with its iciest winter since 1982, but deep inside a former bomb shelter carved from the bedrock beneath an Orthodox cathedral, the city's power company is building what will soon be the world's most high-tech municipal heating system.
Here, surplus heat from hundreds of computer servers in a new data centre located beneath Uspenski Cathedral, one of the city’s main tourist attractions, will be captured and pumped to heat hundreds of homes and businesses across the Finnish capital.
"This will be the greenest and most energy-efficient data centre in the world," Juha Sipila, the project manager for Helsingin Energia, the company behind the scheme, said.
more of the Information Week article from Bob Evans