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10 Nov 2023

High performance for a sustainable future

Data Center Group Stand: D080
High performance for a sustainable future

On 10th of November in 2023, a new green colocation data center opened on the hip site in Heidelberg. With a data center, the Innovation Park has gained another important building block for strengthening itself as a hotspot for innovations in the fields of IT, AI and digital for research institutions, start-ups and international companies.

In a record time of just 11 months - one month faster than planned - the project was implemented by the Data Center Group (DCG) as general contractor together with Data Center Security GmbH (DCS) and InfraRed Capital Partners. The data center takes a future-proof approach to the use of sustainable electricity, innovative cooling and heat recovery.

The Mayor of Heidelberg, Eckart Würzner, also attended the opening and, together with the project participants, ceremoniously handed over the building to the operator.

Digitalization for the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region

The Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region is a strategic location for the data center. The industrial conurbation and focus on research and development is of interest to many industrial and service companies as well as scientific institutions and is an ideal location with fast connections to major cities such as Mannheim, Ludwigshafen, Karlsruhe and Stuttgart. In future, the data center will be made available to users as a DE-CIX enabled site. This means that customers in the data center will be able to connect directly to the world's largest Internet hub in Frankfurt am Main.

"The new green data center strengthens Heidelberg as a future-oriented location and is an important building block in the development of the Heidelberg Innovation Park into an innovation location for IT, AI, digital and life sciences with supra-regional appeal. The Data Center offers modern digital infrastructure, which we urgently need in Heidelberg for the future. Thanks to its efficient operation and sustainable supply of renewable energy, the data center makes a valuable contribution to environmental protection. The Data Center thus offers many new opportunities for start-ups and companies in hip and in the entire region," says the Lord Mayor of the City of Heidelberg, Eckart Würzner.

The data center - secure and highly available with innovative technology

The data center, which complies with the latest standards such as DIN EN 50600, ISO27001, LEED Platinum and ISO 50001, is designed to be redundant and highly available. It has a total area of 2,000 m2 (data halls, technical and administration space) for a total of 252 racks.

The energy consumption efficiency is below a PUE value of 1.25 with an IT load of 1,150 kW and approx. 2 MVA connected load, thus complying with the new Energy Efficiency Act. Although the project was planned well before the new law came into force, it meets all the necessary criteria and even contributes to more climate-friendly digitalization. Among other things, this is only possible with the use of highly efficient, state-of-the-art systems.

Climate-friendly electricity and cooling generation

100% of the electricity we purchase comes from renewable energy sources. The electricity requirement is covered by the purchase of directly generated green electricity from wind and solar energy from our own group of companies and with certificates of origin from Germany and Europe. In addition, photovoltaic systems on the roof area ensure reduced electricity consumption, as 100% of this self-generated electricity is used for the operation of the Data Center. Not only the roof, but also the exterior walls are used sensibly. For example, a generous green façade serves as a natural air conditioning system and for additional CO2 absorption.

The cooling energy required for the data center is provided by the district cooling supply of Stadtwerke Heidelberg. This is generated regeneratively in the power plant and the returning heat is then reused accordingly. "This is a highly innovative data center project. In close cooperation with Stadtwerke Heidelberg, an unprecedented concept has been developed that sets standards in the field of sustainable cooling supply," says Ralf Siefen, CEO Data Center Group.

The redundantly designed air conditioning system is made possible by generating cooling with thermally driven chillers that convert excess heat from the district heating network into cooling. The refrigeration system is so efficient that the required power consumption is very low and can be covered 100% by self-generated PV power from the Heidelberg municipal utility company. In addition, an ice storage system is used to relieve the grid in the event of load or price fluctuations. On the other hand, surplus energy from the grid can be used to fill the ice store. This cooling concept automatically provides a waste heat consumer. This is because the heat returning from the data center is reused by the municipal utilities and is therefore not lost. An additional highlight: no external air conditioning units are required at the data center itself. Overall, this innovative concept significantly reduces CO2 emissions from the central cooling of the data center in Heidelberg compared to conventional systems on the market.

High performance for a sustainable future: nexspace

The building has been given the promising name nexspace, as it is a data center that meets the requirements of tomorrow and enables customers to make their own operations more environmentally sustainable. The investment of the project participants in this state-of-the-art data center not only reflects the region's growing demand in the field of digitalization, but also the commitment of those involved in terms of environmental sustainability.

Technical data nexspace Data Center in Heidelberg:

  • 3-storey building with a total of approx. 2,000 m2 ; technical, administrative and data center space
  • nexspace offers a total of 4,000 m2 of data center space expandable to 8,000 m2 in conjunction with additional locations
  • Several IT halls with space for a total of 252 racks
  • PUE value: 1.25 (Power Usage Effectiveness)
  • Maximum IT load: 1,150 kW
  • Connected load: 2 MVA
  • Realized according to the latest standards such as DIN EN 50600, ISO27001, LEED Platinum and ISO 50001
  • 100% green power supply from renewable energies
  • Innovative redundant air conditioning through district cooling from the Heidelberg public utility company
  • Interface for heat recovery
  • Photovoltaics and façade greening






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