Equinix: Equinix to connect to new district heating scheme in Frankfurt, Germany

Jul 17, 2023 | Posted by MadalineDunn

Equinix has announced that, through a partnership with a number of different companies, it will connect to a new district heating scheme in Frankfurt, Germany.

In collaboration with Vonovia, AS Enterprise, and EB-SIM, the group aims to build a heating network for the bizonal residential area in Frankfurt's Griesheim district. Through the scheme, 1,000 households are to be supplied with the excess heat generated by local Equinix data centers, from 2025. The colocation firm's FR4, FR6, and FR8 facilities are set to be connected to the heat exchanger. Together the data centers span more than 214,000 sq ft (19,900 sqm) in total. 

Commenting on the project, Jens-Peter Feidner, managing director for Germany at Equinix, said it demonstrates how data centers "can give back" to their local community and called it a "perfect example" of the benefits that can be achieved through collaboration between governments, investors, city planners, housing associations, heat network, and data center operators.

He added: "We hope that this project will arouse the interest of other potential partners. Equinix is ​​committed to pursuing waste heat sharing for local benefit in the many markets in which we operate."

Equinix has several initiatives in place across Europe, including a recently expanded district heating project in Finland energy company Helen. Together, the two companies pioneered the first data center heating project in the world.

Further to this, Equinix's Paris data center, PA10, is also recovering heat produced by Equinix customer equipment, and then transferring it to the Plaine Saulnier urban development zone and the Olympic Aquatic Centre. Equinix has reportedly agreed to provide this heat for free for 15 years.

Hesse's Minister for Digital Strategy and Innovation, Prof. Dr. Kristina Sinemus, commented: "Hessen is one of the leading states in the information and communications industry and one of the strongest locations for data centres not only in Germany, but throughout Europe. Efficiency, sustainability and costs for energy are key location factors and saving energy is already in the data centre operators' own interest, as consumption must be reduced and excess heat used effectively."

"Together with our data centre office, we want to help strengthen Hessen as a location for innovative and sustainable data centres, ensure that it is future-proof and thus make a contribution to achieving sustainability and climate goals. In Hessen, we successfully rely on dialogue and incentives instead of coercion and overregulation."

Meanwhile, Stephen Donohoe, Vice President for Global Design and Engineering at Equinix added: "Successfully integrating our infrastructure with heat networks that supply recovered heat from our data centres to our neighbouring communities brings significant environmental benefits. We provide heat networks with a low cost opportunity to decarbonise their network and help reduce dependence on other energy sources, in turn reducing the environmental footprint of their customers."