Going Green: Opera opens first eco-friendly data center in Iceland

Icelandic company Thor just announced that Opera Software is the first company in the world to make use of a new eco-friendly Icelandic data center in Steinhella in Hafnarfjörður, the third largest city in Iceland. Opera will move a significant part of its data traffic to the new data center.

The Thor Data Center is claimed to be the most eco-friendly in the world since it only uses renewable energy from local sources.

The data center will officially open at 12:00 Icelandic time, which, at time of writing, is in less than three hours.

I have quoted the press release below, since it doesn't seem to be in wide circulation yet. …

Opera Software ASA opens eco-friendly data center in Iceland

  • The Norwegian browser-maker becomes the first international company to move its data processing to an Icelandic data center
  • Opera seeks a supply of renewable energy which Iceland can provide
  • Thor Data Center is now the most eco-friendly data center in the world
  • Opera’s Icelandic operations will generate a vast increase in data transfer through the FARICE and DANICE sub-sea cables

Today at 12 noon Icelandic time, the President of Iceland and Iceland’s Minister of Industry will open the first Icelandic data center, at Steinhella in Hafnarfjörður, the third largest city in Iceland. An Icelandic company, Thor DC, is behind the construction of the center and its operations. Thor DC was founded by a handful of Icelandic entrepreneurs with years of experience in the IT industry, with the participation of Icelandic venture capitalists.

World-renowned software company seeks renewable energy for computing power
Opera Software ASA, a Norwegian software company, primarily known for its Opera family of web browsers whichhas several hosting centers globally will today sign an agreement to move a significant part of its electronic datatraffic to the Thor Data Center via sub-sea cables run by the Icelandic telecommunications company E-Farice . With the expected growth of Opera products, any increased traffic will in the future be transfered through E-Farice and Thor Data Center. Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner, founder of Opera Software, will sign the agreement on behalf of Opera. Opera Software currently has over 110 million users for its browsers across the world.

New technology shortens constructing of new data centers
Preparations for the establishment of the data center began 18 months ago. The short time frame, from the founding of the company until it has become ready to offer data storage services to international customers, was made possible through new data center technology. This technology allows data centers to be composed of smaller units (so-called data containers), which offer added flexibility in scaling any such ventures. Thor DC collaborates with a Spanish technology firm that has become a leader in the production of the abovementioned containers.

World’s most eco-friendly data center
From the first day of its operations, the Thor data center will be the most eco-friendly data center in the world. This is both due to the type of technology it utilizes and because it uses only renewable energy from local sources. The data center has secured 3.2 megawatts of electricity to be provided by HS Energy on the Reykjanes peninsula, which is extendable up to 19.2 megawatts. Thor DC is the first data center of its kind in Iceland, and Opera Software ASA is the first foreign corporation that moves its data storage facilities to the country. There are high hopes for the data center industry in Iceland, and Thor Data Center’s representatives feel that there is every reason for optimism. Announcements concerning further agreements with large foreign customers are expected in the near future, and the company’s original plans for the speed of its developments in Hafnarfjörður have already been revised. The company’s operations are now expected to outgrow the current premises as early as next year.

Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner said:
"The reason Opera Software came to sign an agreement with Thor Data Center is that the company can offer us energy from 100% renewable sources. In coming years Iceland will be able to provide a more stable supply of energy than most other areas in the world. This fact, combined with the excellent technical knowledge of Thor DC’s staff, is the main reason why Opera Software has decided to base its data conversion in Iceland. We look forward to continued collaboration with the entrepreneurs at Thor DC and to keeping up with developments in the Icelandic data center industry. Clearly there are vast opportunities in this field in Iceland. Entrepreneurship and boldness are essential to leading Iceland out of its economic crisis."
(Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner is willing to grant interviews to the press upon request)

As stated earlier, the opening of the data center takes place at 12 noon today, Friday, at Steinhella in Hafnarfjörður, in the presence of distinguished guests. Mr. Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, President of Iceland, and Katrín Júlíusdóttir, Minister of Industry, will each briefly address guests and then join two data transfer cables, signifying the opening of data flow to and from the data center. The agreements with Opera Software will subsequently be signed, after which guests are invited to take a tour of the data center. The Thor Data Center staff will be happy to answer any questions.

For further information, please contact:
Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner, Founder of Opera SoftwareASA tel. +47 40 40 14 40
Jón Viggó Gunnarsson, Managing Director of Thor DC, tel. +354 662-5005
Guðmundur Gíslason, Chairman of Thor DC, tel. +354 896-0426
Guðmundur Gunnarsson, CEO of Farice, tel. +354 893-4840
Andres Jonsson, Corporate Communications Thor DC tel +354 615-0110


39 thoughts on “Going Green: Opera opens first eco-friendly data center in Iceland

  1. Interesting, and nice to hear :-)I'd like to know how this renewable energy is generated though.Geothermal energy or something similar?(ot: wouldn't it be wise to remove all those tel.-numbers at the bottom of the press release?)

  2. Originally posted by netwolf:

    Interesting, and nice to hear 🙂 I'd like to know how this renewable energy is generated though. Geothermal energy or something similar?

    Iceland creates most of its energy (over 90%) by Hydro electric dams, a large part of the remainder by geothermal energy and the rest with wind, solar and then a very small part with burning of fossil fuels.

  3. I was worried there for a moment; I'd heard Americans and other nationalities have tried to circumvent the restriction that only natives may tap its natural resources by setting up some proxy firms. But this one seems to be operated by Icelandic people at least. Very good 🙂

  4. A step in the right direction May be with the money Opera brings in they can cap the Eyjafjallajökull for energy production too (just kidding)

  5. ok, but why did opera didn't create a press release? a new data center is nothing that happens regular / more times a year? (opera makes also the new opera mini farms public in the choose opera blog!)

  6. Glad to hear this! Please keep investing in low-pollution low-emission solutions, Opera. :yes:

  7. :yes: :yes: :yes: :yes: :yes: :yes: :yes: :yes: :yes: :yes: :yes: :yes: :yes: :yes: :yes: 😉 😉 😉 😉

  8. Now I can in good conscience ask my eco-friends to be inspired by Opera. Thanks for your work! :up:

  9. Gr8 work done by Opera. I really apriciate. In Future we can also use " Hydrogen as primary source of energy." our enviornment does not have any scarcity of Hydrogen. And we can also make Hydrogen batteries from green "Algies". Still far way to go. But this little littile steps explores the possibillities of new Inventions. "Hats Off" to Opera.

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