‘Help us heat our neighbours’: Equinix makes data centre heat available to warm nearby buildings and swimming pools 

‘Help us heat our neighbours’: Equinix makes data centre heat available to warm nearby buildings and swimming pools 

Equinix is calling for municipal planning agencies, energy utilities and heat network operators around the world to join the Equinix Heat Export programme to unlock the value of the residual heat generated in its International Business Exchange (IBX) data centres.   

Equinix’s innovative Heat Export programme recovers residual heat from its IBX data centres and exports it to buildings in surrounding communities, providing a cleaner alternative to traditional methods.

Several Heat Export initiatives have been implemented by Equinix across Europe and the Americas with projects in France, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland and Canada.  

Beginning July 2024, Equinix plans to export heat in its newest IBX in Paris, PA10, and transfer it to the Plaine Saulnier urban development zone and the Olympic Aquatic Centre, which will host several events during the 2024 Summer Olympics.

Heat exported from TR5, one of Equinix’s IBX data centres in Toronto, is distributed throughout multiple residential buildings, as well as a nearby hotel, university and local shopping centre in downtown Markham. TR5 also services multiple buildings with domestic hot water all year long, thanks to the heat network of Equinix’s energy partner, Markham District Energy. 

Equinix is dedicated to expanding its Heat Export programme in suitable locations, where data centres can serve as valuable heat sources for local communities. It is actively seeking partnerships with organisations such as heat network operators, energy utilities and local municipalities to bring heat export projects to fruition. By collaborating with these entities, Equinix aims to make a significant positive impact in the communities where it operates. 

“Our Heat Export programme is one important way data centres can give back to their local communities,” said Gary Aitkenhead, SVP, EMEA IBX Operations, Equinix. “However, it is only possible through collaboration with energy providers, governments and other third-party enablers. So, we are asking for more partners to join the programme and re-use the heat from our operations for the good of people and our planet.” 

Globally, Equinix is investing in new and innovative technologies in energy efficiency, renewable energy and Heat Export projects as part of its global Future First sustainability strategy, focusing on areas that have the greatest impact on customers and key stakeholders.

The company was one of the first in the data centre industry to align to an approved short-term science-based target, for emissions reduction across its global operations and supply chain by 2030. It is also a founding signatory of the EU Climate Neutral Data Centre Operator Pact, which is leading advocacy and steering the development of sustainability requirements for the EU data centre industry to become climate neutral by 2030. 

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