News / 23.6.2022

Helen and Equinix extend successful cooperation to distribute more waste heat from data centers to properties in Helsinki

Both companies extend their world-leading collaboration, capturing renewable waste heat from data centers in Viikinmäki and Suvilahti and redistributing to homes in Helsinki.

Helen, one of the largest energy companies in Finland and Equinix, Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX), the world’s digital infrastructure company, have extended their pioneering energy efficiency partnership to reuse waste heat generated by the cooling process of data centers in Suvilahti (HE3) and Viikinmäki (HE5) to provide heating to thousands of additional homes and businesses in Helsinki.

Helen and Equinix have a long established and successful partnership, working together and reusing data center heat to provide heating for homes in the Helsinki area for over a decade. The two companies pioneered the first data center heating project in the world, where waste heat was captured and reused through Helen´s district heating network in Kanavaranta to heat homes in Helsinki since 2010.

The extension of the agreement enables Helen to tap into the additional waste heat generated from Equinix International Business Exchange (IBX) data centers in Suvilahti and Viikinmäki, known as HE3 and HE5 respectively, and distribute it to benefit Helsinki residents.

Both Helen and Equinix have pledged to become carbon neutral by 2030.

Reusing waste heat is an excellent way of reducing the carbon impact on the environment in Helsinki. Because Equinix data centers use 100% renewable electricity, recycling waste heat provides Helsinki residents with renewable energy for heating and becomes a significantly more efficient way of removing waste heat created by the data center in the cooling process.

Data center waste heat is as an important part of Helen’s transition to become a distributed energy system where energy is produced from various sources. Helen´s excessive, 1,409 km long district heating network in Helsinki also enables flexible implementation of different waste heat concepts, such as the Equinix data centers, and acts as an excellent platform for new carbon-neutral solutions.

“The importance of investing both in energy self-sufficiency and new energy solutions to mitigate the climate change is higher than ever tells Timo Aaltonen, Helen’s SVP, Operations and Asset Management. “Our long-term partnership with Equinix is an example of groundbreaking projects data center companies can embark to create meaningful value to residents around these centers. With Equinix’s waste heat, we are able to warm up several thousand households in the greater Helsinki area.”

Commenting on the significance of the relationship between the two companies, Sami Holopainen, CEO of Equinix Finland said, “Helen and Equinix are two of the first companies that brought data center district heating to the city of Helsinki and I am extremely proud to be able to continue that long held relationship with the addition of these district heating projects to two of our most innovative data centers. Waste heat is generated cooling the servers in data centers. Before innovative energy capturing, waste heat was released to the atmosphere. Now, Equinix and Helen are able to use this waste heat in a distributed energy system, where energy is produced, recovered and stored in several locations in an emission-free and secure way.”

Read more about the topic

Heating Carbon neutrality