Similar projects in Denmark have used recaptured heat from smaller structures, such as supermarkets, to supply a nearby building or two. The Facebook project scales the technology to a level not yet reached in the world by producing up to 25 MW per hour of usable heat.
“Facebook opened their new data center in Odense,” said Denmark’s Minister of Climate, Energy, and Utilities, Dan Jørgensen, on Instagram. “It’s based on renewable energy only (from their own wind farm) and feeds their surplus heat into the district heating system. Good news for the transition to green energy!”
As a nation, Denmark has set a goal to eliminate the use of coal by 2030. The heat recovery project supports Odense’s even more aggressive goal to phase out coal (which 30 percent of the city still depends on for heat) by 2023 — a modern feat for a city that just celebrated its 1,031st anniversary. Facebook’s data center is estimated to reduce Odense’s demand for coal by up to 25 percent.