Attention paid to energy efficiency in data centers has been increasing significantly in the last decade. One of the latest trends on this issue is supplying data centers with renewable energy. Reducing the carbon footprint of data centers is a major step towards green computing. Following this trend, more and more data centers are built in cold climate areas for cheaper cooling and increased energy efficiency of the facilities. However, such geographical locations have highly varying availability of renewable energy (especially solar energy), and fitting the data centers completely with renewable energy is hence more difficult.
This paper analyzes the feasibility of using renewable energies for a data center located on 60° north latitude. For this purpose, we introduce a new metric called Minimum Percentage Supply, which represents the fraction of the total data center energy consumption that renewable energy, produced by 1 wind turbine and 1 m2 solar panel, can cover. After estimating the available renewable energy provided for the city of Turku, Finland, and the energy consumption caused by the server workload, a feasibility study is conducted for a data center powered by renewable energy on such a location. We also analyze the ratio between number of wind turbines and m2 of solar panels to achieve a desired percentage of renewable energy coverage for a given data center. Finally, the energy cost trade-off is evaluated for different quantities of wind and solar energy sources.