ADISTA and Datafarm Energy are developing the first data centre powered by energy from biowaste
Adista and Datafarm Energy are planning to commission, in 2022, a data centre powered exclusively by renewable energy from recycling agricultural biowaste. This is a first in the data centre world, which is constantly seeking long-term renewable, low-carbon and secure energy solutions. Both companies are aiming for the first tranche to start operation in 2022 and intend to rapidly increase the energy capacities of the future site.
Adista, leading B2B alternative cloud and telecommunications operator in France, will operate the future data centre in full, applying its expertise in data centre management.
Thanks to Datafarm Energy, a renewable energy start-up, and its Datafarm Box ©, packed with energy innovations at the service of sustainable data, the future Adista site will be powered continuously with renewable energy and strive for net zero emissions, mainly by contributing to the avoidance of electrical consumption related to cooling systems and reducing emissions thanks to the use of biogas.
Meeting energy and climate challenges
“Controlling the environmental impact of digital technology is a major sustainable development challenge. A pioneer of edge data centres and fibre optic networks, Adista’s strategic priority is to become the benchmark operator on the market in terms of Corporate Social Responsibility”, explains Olivier Grosjeanne, Chief Technical Officer for Adista
The energy consumption of data centres is expected to increase by 21% by 2025 compared to 2018* to meet the massive rise in digital data processing. At the same time, operators like Adista are committed to reducing their environmental footprint while providing continuous service quality, 24/7, 365 days a year.
This is the context in which the unique approach of Datafarm Energy was selected by Adista. Datafarm Energy uses biogas resulting from processing agricultural biowaste thanks to methanisation, to regenerate it into power and cooling systems. In a circular approach, the start-up’s process will also recycle residual heat, on site, emitted by the data centre processes.
Biogas: a sustainable and reliable solution
“As a renewable energy, biogas emits very little CO2 of fossil origin and has the additional advantage of being non-intermittent, which means that its continuous and manageable production (regardless of sunshine or wind) is perfectly in phase with the consumption profiles of data centres,” states Stéphane Petibon, CEO of Datafarm Energy.
By physically leaning on an agricultural methanisation unit, in other words by installing the data centre directly on the farm, energy savings are numerous and allow a reduction of GHG emissions of up to 90% compared to a European provision.
As biogas is non-intermittent, Adista’s future data centre will be fully autonomous and will free it of the traditional route of electricity from the electric power plant, thus reducing electrical loss and the associated carbon emissions. This local and autonomous consumption is also encouraged by the companies in charge of transporting and distributing electricity (RTE and Enedis in France), which see an opportunity in terms of balancing their network, which is increasingly subject to intermittent wind and solar farms.
The source of biogas supply from the farmer-biogas plant is secured for five to 10 years so that the customer can enjoy the same commitment.
Nothing is created, nothing is lost
The circularity of the model of this future data centre will introduce a real industrial symbiosis between the farmer and Adista, through which heat loss (residual heat) from the different processes implemented will be captured and recovered for the cooling systems required by the servers, on the one hand, and the farmer’s heating requirements on the other. Heat recovery often means saving electricity traditionally used to produce heating or cooling, which also means simpler facilities.
A Hosted Services Operator, Adista is positioned in France as the leading B2B alternative cloud and telecommunications operator and the specialist of IT and voice services. Adista’s strength is its ability to combine the expertise of host, telecommunications operator, business IT and application development specialist. The company’s success is built on its end-to-end control of service quality, its hybrid vision of the IT system, and its ability to deliver IT services and high-speed technologies all over France. Following the acquisition of Fingerprint in 2020, Waycom in February 2021, and the strategic merger with unyc in September 2021, Adista today has 35 branches, 900 employees and turnover of €222 million as of 2021, and aims to achieve turnover of €500 million in 2025. www.adista.fr
About Datafarm Energy
Resulting from two years of R&D, Datafarm Energy has developed a technical unit sized to provide a stable and continuous supply of electrical and cooling energy required for a data centre to function properly. The start-up has received several prizes and labels for its innovation, has secured its first capital investment and has seven employees. It targets the European market and turnover of €25 million by 2025