Microsoft has announced it will bring native cloud support to users in Sweden through two new data centers. Fitting in with the country's strict stance on environmental impact, Microsoft says the centers will be the “most sustainable” ever built.
Described as “world class”, the data centers will be the greenest ever, not just in Sweden and not just from Microsoft. The company says the locations will be powered entirely from renewable energy sources and it plans no waste will be generated from operations.
Gävle and Sandviken, two towns north of the capital Stockholm, have been chosen as the bases for the data centers. Microsoft has partnered with sustainable energy provider Vattenfall AB to deliver the required power. Redmond and Vattenfall have collaborated before, such as on the company's Wieringermeer Polder wind farm in the Netherlands.
“Vattenfall is fully committed to help our customers make fossil free living possible within one generation, so this partnership fits very well with our overall strategy,” said Andreas Regnell, Vattenfall's senior vice president of strategic development.
Microsoft used its announcement blog post to recommit to its plan to be fossil fuel free. While Microsoft has been carbon neutral since 2012, the company wants to become entirely sustainable. A self-imposed goal will see Microsoft aim to be running its data centers on 70% renewable energy by 2023.
“We intend for our data centers in Sweden to be among the most sustainably designed and operated in the world with the ultimate ambition of achieving zero-carbon operations,” said Noelle Walsh, Microsoft's vice president of cloud operations and innovation. “The data center design we're developing will further Microsoft's ongoing commitment to transition to a sustainable, low-carbon future.”
Of course, the data centers will also deliver Microsoft's cloud services to customers. The company says Sweden was selected “in anticipation of future needs for cloud and internet services as demand in Europe continues to grow.”
Data centers in Sweden continue Microsoft's expansion in Europe. New builds are also happening in Norway and Switzerland, joining existing centers in Austrian, Finland, Germany, Ireland, France, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.