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A small town in Norway might have world’s biggest data centre


Ballangen, Norway may have a population of just 2,600 people, but soon enough might be the home of the world biggest data centre.

The data centre, named Kolos, is being built by Kolos, which is U.S./Norway partnership. But besides the names of the two leaders of Kolos, Mark Robinson and Havard Lillebo, little else is known about the company. Robinson has worked for Aspira Networks, Ricoh Corp. and Kyocera Wireless before joining Kolos, while Lillebo served as the CFO of Innotech Solar.

What Kolos aspires to be is the biggest green data centre in the world powered only by sustainable energy from hydropower and wind. When opened, it will be able to draw on 1,000 mega-watts of power.

The choice of Ballangen, Norway is because its located near the Arctic Circle allowing the facility to operate at a 60 per cent reduction in energy. According to the Kolos.com Web site, this will give Kolos a competitive advantage because of the cool, stable climate that northern Norway brings. The facility is also close to Narvik Fjord, which his just 200 KMs from the Arctic Circle.

The Kolos Web site also called the new data centre a “fortress for data” as its surrounded by water and hills.

The Kolos partnership is also being called a community project backed by five mayors in the area and it’s expected to create approximately 3,000 new jobs for the region.

The actual Kolos data centre will be a 600,000 sq. ft. facility. To give you a comparison, the recently opened Equinix data centre in Toronto is only  242,000 sq. ft. Kolos is laying claim to building the biggest data centre in the world, but its claim might be short-lived as the data centre in LangFang, China and the SuperNap in Nevada are working on plans to surpass the one million square-foot mark.

The ambitious project still has some stumbling blocks as there are some property rights issues to iron out and they are still in negotiations with an unnamed U.S.-based bank to acquire more funds.