João Marques Lima
17 December, 2016

A large industrial site is currently being planned for Horndal, located in the Avesta Municipality, 140 Km from capital Stockholm.

On this site, a new 100MW high voltage (HV) line is being planned by provider Vattenfall and a large data centre campus, belonging to an international web player, has also been confirmed by Swedish media.

In addition, a switchboard connection to the main local power line in Krångede, North of Horndal, is also being built by national provider SVK.

Currently, the national grid provider has a station in Horndal, just outside the land where the industrial park is set to be built. This station will be connected to another station in Ljusdal and then to Krångede.

The Avesta municipality has acquired 1,050,000 sqm of land for the industrial park which extend along the Highway 68 for SEK 15.5m ($1.65m as of December, 16).

Recently, part of this land was sold to a data centre operator. The municipality told Sweden’s national broadcaster SVT that it will not disclose any details about the transaction, including the name of those involved until March 2017.

The piece of land is currently a forest, populated with hundreds of trees. The construction of the data centre will require a large majority of the trees to be cut down.

Speaking to SVT, Avesta Councillor Lars Isacsson said: “We have purchased a large portion of land in Krångede, and so we have developed a detailed plan that allows light industry, non-polluting, non-noisy but of high intensity.”

Isacsson continued to say that it is great be part of the continuing industrial development that gives a future to the community and “I think it will be great not only for Avesta, but for Sweden as a whole”.

Also speaking to SVT’s Report programme, Lars Mikael Damberg, Minister for Enterprise, said: “This [development] is very important; it is a big investment; it is part of Sweden’s basic industries where Sweden has all the conditions to draw more investments.

“We now have the same tax on the data centre space that we have on other industries where the direct tax on electricity is not so high.

“The large investments made in Sweden are creating jobs and these are part of the digital infrastructure that is becoming ever more important.”

Power for high-intensive businesses is on its way

One of the developments being planned at the site is a 100MW HV line by Swedish government owned power company Vattenfall.

In a press statement issued to Data Economy, Vattenfall said: “Vattenfall Distribution has connection duty to all customers and have had a dialogue with the municipality of the planning process, which has been implemented by the municipality.

“It is correct that we have investigated a connected load of up to 100 MW. Do we get a request for connection it looks favourably out to implement a fast connection.

“In the current situation, we cannot give any more comments on this issue.”

Data centres and the power industry in Sweden recently saw the government cut electricity tax rates charged to data centre operators by 97% in a move to try and attract more data centre investment to Sweden.

The decrease lowers the electricity tax rate for to 0.005 SEK or USD 0.00054 per kWh, from today’s 0.194-0.295 SEK or USD 0.02-0.03 per kWh.

The reduction is set to come into effect on January 1, 2017 after being under political scrutiny for several years.

The Nordic region as a whole is set to benefit from significant data centre investment over the next three years, of an estimated €3.3bn with more than 49% derived from overseas internet players.

Findings from a BroadGroup’s report “Data Centre Nordics”, covering Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark, and 117 operators, predicts that the market in third party data centres will increase by almost two and a half times in m2 space and triple MW power requirements from current levels by the end of 2017.

Today, Sweden is home to nearly one third of all 171 data centres in the Nordics. With 54 facilities, it is ahead of Denmark (46), Norway (40), Finland (25) and Iceland (6).

According to the Data Centre Risk 2016 report by Cusham & Wakefield, Sweden is the fifth most secure country in the world for data centre investment. Iceland (first), Norway (second), Switzerland (third) and Finland (fourth) have been ranked as the safest nations for data centre investment.