Cloud&Heat (C&H) technologies have formed an alliance with Norway-based Earth Wind & Power (EWP), a company that lets utility companies make their surplus energy available to high-performance computing (HPC) users. The companies are teaming up to develop and deploy modular, scalable data centres that will host power-hungry HPC workloads in locations where there is an abundance of energy that cannot be used for any other commercial purpose.
The alliance will benefit from EWP’s expertise in turning excess energy from wind, solar, geothermal and gas into power for modular HPC datacentres as well as C&H’s strength in developing and operating secure and sustainable digital infrastructures. By deploying modular, scalable data centres around the world at locations with excess energy, the companies can exploit this energy for HPC and other data centres when no other offtake is commercially viable. Under the terms of the partnership, EWP will purchase datacentre infrastructure from C&H, as well as commission the company to build, operate and maintain it on its behalf too.
“This is a major important step for the global energy and data centre industry,” Ingvil Smines Tybring-Gjedde, CEO and co-founder at EWP, said. “By matching the energy surplus of one economy with the energy deficit of the other, we have launched a ground-breaking environmental, social and corporate governance solution.”
Demand for energy-intensive HPC workloads is expected to soar in years to come as enterprises look to incorporate artificial intelligence and machine learning into their operations. At the same time, several of the major colocation hubs across Europe are being dogged by concerns about whether they have sufficient energy to power the growing number of data centres they serve.
The partnership could provide a partial answer to that by making it possible for operators to set up smaller sites that enterprises could hive off their more power-hungry workloads to in places where there is an abundance of energy available.
“This is a joint pioneering achievement that could be replicated in other markets in the future and a great example of what can happen when you work together beyond your own traditional value creation levels,” Nicolas Röhrs, CEO and co-founder of C&H, said. “Earth Wind & Power has a huge network and is opening up important new markets for us. This also applies to countries that may be underserved and have insufficient access to compute resources.