By James Lawrence - News - 4 weeks ago

Icelandic National Power Company Partner with International Data Center Company to Open Facilities for “Blockchain Infrastructure”

Friday, December 21, according to a Business Wire press release a deal has been struck between the Icelandic national power company, Landsvirkjun, and Etix Everywhere Iceland, a company offering data centers for “competitive solutions for HPC [high performance computing] and Blockchain infrastructure". The organizations have inked a contract for Landsvirkjun to supply 25 megawatts (MW) to Etix’s new data center in the Blönduós municipality in the North of Iceland.

Etix Everywhere Iceland is a subsidiary of Etix Everywhere Borealis, which is majority-owned by Etix Everywhere, founded in Luxembourg in 2011. Etix offers data high-performance computing (HPC) and scalable data centers around the globe. The company to present has developed centers in Europe, Africa, the U.S. Etix Everywhere Iceland already operates a data center in Reykjanesbær in the south of Iceland.

The new Blönduós facility will be the largest data center the company has invested in on the island. According to the press release the facility will have a capacity of around 30,000 servers and will be the “first energy-intensive industrial operation in the area”. Blönduós is in the very north-west of the country, situated on Húnaflói Bay, it has a population of around 880, is popular for bird watching, and yes, has a website.

Landsvirkjun, is the National Power Company of Iceland, the island’s largest electricity generator, and is one of the ten largest producers of renewable energy in Europe. The company leverages the natural, renewable resources of Iceland, namely hydro, geothermal and wind power. Landsvirkjun has previously been involved in data centers, with Etix being their third client in the industry.

As previously reported by BNG, Iceland benefits from near ideal conditions for data centers, cheap, green and plentiful energy resources, and a stably-cool climate. Cooling is, by far, the largest electricity sink for the operation of servers in mining and data, as mentioned in the press release, “Natural cooling means that equipment cooling costs are minimal and operating the centers is, therefore, more efficient in Iceland than it would be elsewhere.”

According to an Etix Blockchain press release back from September, the Blönduós facility was built simultaneously to a second center located just outside of Iceland’s capital Reykjavik. The centers are both solely dedicated to “HPC and Blockchain applications and mining as a service capacity”, as “the banking and financial industry is becoming increasingly invested in the Blockchain field, they are looking for hosting infrastructures of higher standards, still offering a competitive price.” What remains unclear is the breakdown of the ownership of the servers.

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As taken from the Business Wire press release:

Hörður Arnarson, CEO at Landsvirkjun: “Demand for energy from Landsvirkjun, generated from renewable, natural resources continues to grow and we look forward to inviting another flourishing company to our already well-established group of international customers. The agreement confirms Iceland's competitiveness in the global electricity market, reinforcing Landsvirkjun’s operations and supporting the growth of industry in Iceland.”

Björn Brynjúlfsson, CEO at Etix Everywhere Borealis: "We are in the process of developing a new generation of data centers, utilizing Icelandic environmental conditions and our own expertise in the design and development of data solutions. The development of the Blönduós project is a purposeful step in reducing our customers' environmental footprint and the power terms in the contract allow for substantial expansion.”

A video tour of one Etix’s data centers located in Iceland is available here. The video shows the center in a Martian landscape and highlights the natural climatic advantages of Iceland.