UK Data Centre Cuts Emissions After Green Investment Bank Funding

The Green Investment Bank (GIB) has been congratulated by the Prime Minister David Cameron on its second anniversary, as it passes the milestone of mobilising more than £5bn for new green energy infrastructure projects.

And the GIB also announced its 37th funding transaction, with a £5.2m deal to help global bank Citi reduce the energy use at its data centre in Lewisham, London.

Birthday Message

GIB is of course wholly owned by HM Government. It was originally announced by then Chancellor Alistair Darling, in his last budget speech of the previous Labour Government, just before the general election in 2010. The idea of the bank was that it would focus on funding for green transport and energy, including offshore wind power.

The Coalition government quickly back the idea of the GIB, but it wasn’t until October 2012 when the GIB began operations as the first dedicated green infrastructure bank in the world.

“Under this Government, as part of our long-term economic plan to back business, create more jobs and secure a brighter future for Britain, we have become one of the best places for green investment anywhere in the world – and the Green Investment Bank has played an instrumental role in this,” said Prime Minister David Cameron.

“Their achievements tell their own story – in just two years, getting 37 green infrastructure projects underway in the UK, committing more than £1.6bn of capital and mobilising a total of £5.2bn, and creating thousands of jobs. I’m delighted to congratulate GIB on its second birthday.”

Data Centre CCP

And as part of that celebration, the GIB also revealed that it has agreed to provide £5.2m in funding from GIB’s Sustainable Development Capital (SDCL).

The project will deliver efficient electricity and cooling in a UK data centre in Lewisham belonging to the global bank Citi. The funding for the energy efficiency measures are expected to cut energy use by 10 percent at the Citi data centre.

Essentially, the money will be used to fund the installation of a 2.8MW Combined Cooling and Power (CCP) system, which will be combined with energy efficient cooling units and efficiency improvements to the building’s air conditioning system. This will reduce both Citi’s costs, and cut its greenhouse gas emissions.

The CCP system will generate 71 percent of the electricity needed to power the data centre. It will also provide cooling for the servers housed in the data centre. Citi currently uses mains electricity from the national grid and relies on back-up diesel generators.

“The IT industry is one of the most energy intensive sectors globally, second only to aviation,” said Shaun Kingsbury, Chief Executive of GIB. “Energy can represent up to 80 percent of the cost of running a data centre, so they provide an important opportunity for energy efficiency measures.

“I am pleased that we have been able to support the first energy efficiency project at a UK data centre and hope that this is the first of many such projects,” he said.

“SDCL has developed a solution for Citi that provides us with sustainable on-site cooling and power that requires no upfront capital expenditure and that creates enduring savings in our annual operation costs and supports us in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions,” said John Killey, Head of Global Building Operations Group, Citi Realty Services. “We are delighted to be benefiting from its innovative financial solution that facilitates and funds a world-class service from Clarke Energy and GE.”

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Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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