Land-based lobster farming will use waste heat from data centre

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Norwegian colocation company Green Mountain and Norwegian Lobster Farm have entered into an agreement on the reuse of waste heat from the data center in the world’s first land-based lobster farm. The project represents an innovative example of circular economy where the waste heat is reused for food production. The carbon footprint is also significantly reduced.

Norwegian Lobster Farm is the first company in the world to produce plate sized lobsters in a land-based fish farm. Their current facilities use recycling aquaculture technology (RAS) as well as advanced robotics, computer vision systems and automatic and continuous monitoring of each individual lobster. To grow optimally, the lobster needs a temperature of 20°C in the seawater. This is exactly the temperature of the seawater that has been used to cool the IT equipment in Green Mountain’s data center. This heated wastewater can therefore be delivered directly to the fish farm.

Cooling a data center usually accounts for an additional 40-80 per cent of the electricity required to power the servers. At Green Mountain’s DC1-Stavanger, they use an innovative fjord cooling solution for this purpose. Today the seawater enters the facility with a temperature of 8°C and is released back into the fjord with a temperature of 20°C. The plan is to build a new production facility adjacent to the data center where this heated seawater can be used directly in the breeding of lobsters. As a result, the energy is reused and there is no need for complicated RAS technology.

“In practical terms, this means that we can scale up production, reduce technical risk, and save both CapEx and OpEx. In addition to the environmental benefits, of course. “, Asbjørn Drengstig, CEO of Norwegian Lobster Farm, says.

Land-based lobster farming is certainly challenging, but the market opportunities are enormous, especially since the lobster population in Europe is declining. The company has spent several years on research and development and has secured EU funding through the Horizon 2020 Grant Agreement NO880911 and the EuroStars programs. Drengstig expects being able to start construction of the production facility in 2021.

“For a long time, we have explored various methods to reuse the waste heat from our data center. Here at Rennesøy, which is sparsely populated, district heating is not a sensible alternative. This project, on the other hand, fits like a glove. We hope we can expand this and similar concepts to our future facilities as well. “, Tor Kristian Gyland Green Mountain CEO, says.

Norwegian Lobster Farm is the first company in the world to produce plate sized lobsters. The lobster is 20 cm long and weighs about 250 grams, and is thus below the minimum size for wild fishing. The product has a very high quality and has received excellent reviews from some of the world’s most acclaimed restaurants.

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