Data Economy: Norway Lands ‘World’s Largest’ Data Centre At 1,000 MW, 6.5 Million Sqf

By João Marques Lima

Site expected to create up 3,000 jobs and support up to 15,000 more.
A giant data centre, which will be the “world’s largest”, is making its way to Ballangen, a Norwegian municipality of just over 2,600 inhabitants in the Nordic region.

The project is being developed by Kolos and the data centre will be known as Kolos. Kolos, the group, is a Norwegian and American company with offices in Norway, the US and Europe.

The data centre is projected to initially draw in 70MW of power, and at full build will measure as much as 6.46 million sqf and have the ability to process 1,000 MW.

Kolos has already conducted a series A capital funding round, partnered with HDR, and engineering and design company, and acquired the land to build the data centre.

Kolos founder and co-CEO Håvard Lillebo, said: “The plan is to build a large, cost-effective data centre that has access to cheap green energy.”

Lillebo shares the board with San Francisco-based Mark Robinson, also founder and co-CEO of Kolos and VP of product management and business development for Innovation Norway & Executive in Residence.

New York-based Daniel Hodges, executive, sales, and marketing at Fortune 500 companies including Discovery, Nokia, and Associated Press and start-ups such as Enpocket and Verve, is acting as Kolos’ president.

Data Economy has contacted the executives which at the time of publishing were not available to comment.

The data centre is designed to be powered using 100% renewable energy sourced from hydropower stations and wind farms.

Artist impression of the future Kolos data centre.

Kolos’s specifications reveal that the data centre will operate at a 60% reduction in energy costs, “making it the most competitive data centre in the world,” the company claims.

The site will be cooled down using natural cooling based on the region’s cool climate and the development’s proximity to water.

Developers have also labelled the future data centre as a “fortress for data” as the site will be surrounded by water and hills, providing a natural moat to protect against any physical risks.

“Kolos will deploy the latest technology in data center security, employing the most innovative engineers and technology experts, who will constantly monitor and manage new cyber-security risks,” the company has said.

Building on from previous projects in the Nordic region, the data centre in Ballangen is being backed by a up to five local mayors.

Projectors estimate the new Kolos centre will directly create 2,000 to 3,000 jobs and support 10,000 to 15,000 jobs as a result of people moving to Ballangen.

Knut Einar Hanssen, Counsel Representative for Ballangen, said: “The data centre could lead to many new jobs and have a great effect on the city of Ballangen and many positive changes for the local community. We must plan in advance.”