The latest in green data centers: Fjord-cooled

Google (s GOOG) isn’t the only one looking to the chilly Nordic waters to keep data centers cool in a low-energy way. Data Center Knowledge takes a look at the Green Mountain Data Center onĀ the island of Rennesoy in Norway that uses the cold water of a nearby fjord for free cooling.

The data center is being developed by Norwegian companies Smedvig and ErgoGroup, and utility Lyse Energi, and the group will start building out 75,000 square feet of colocation space in January. AnotherĀ 43,000 square feet will be available for containerized data center gear.

This mini trend of using bodies of cold water to replace data center chillers is very location-specific. So basically it can only be done in a few locations economically. Google even said in an interview with me that its sea water-cooled facility in Finland was more experimental in nature and wasn’t supposed to be something that it would reproduce in other regions.

But since Green Mountain Data Center will be making money off of co-location, likely its green and low energy features will be able to help it make money off of the unusual site.

What is far more popular and economical is the trend of using cold outside air for cooling in data centers. Facebook, Yahoo, Google and others are now regularly using outside air to replace chillers in data centers, which cuts the massive energy needs for the air conditioners.

Take a look at the photos of Green Mountain — the facility is an awesome-looking underground structure that is built into the rock and houses numerous tunnels. Can someone please film a horror movie there?