Global bank Citi puts in place innovative energy efficiency measures to cut the energy use of its data centre by 10%

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The UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) has announced that it is backing its first project in the financial services sector. The investment is being made by GIB’s fund manager Sustainable Development Capital (SDCL), which was represented by specialist Energy lawyers from Walker Morris.

The project will provide finance for a project to deliver efficient electricity and cooling in a UK data centre owned by global bank Citi. A Combined Cooling and Power (CCP) system will be installed together with energy efficient cooling units and efficiency improvements to the building’s air conditioning system.

It is the first project of its kind at a UK data centre, and the first project of its kind that Citi has undertaken globally.

The project will reduce Citi’s costs and its greenhouse gas emissions. It will make a meaningful contribution to reducing the data centre’s running costs.

The CCP system will generate 71% of the electricity needed to power the data centre in Lewisham, London. It will also provide cooling for the servers housed in the data centre. Citi currently uses mains electricity from the national grid and relies on back-up diesel generators.

Shaun Kingsbury, Chief Executive, UK Green Investment Bank said:

The IT industry is one of the most energy intensive sectors globally, second only to aviation. Energy can represent up to 80% of the cost of running a data centre, so they provide an important opportunity for energy efficiency measures.

I am pleased that we have been able to support the first energy efficiency project at a UK data centre and hope that this is the first of many such projects.

This project makes financial sense, reducing Citi’s energy costs, and makes environmental sense, reducing the data centre’s greenhouse gas emissions. And because of the innovative investment model, it will involve no upfront capital expenditure for Citi as the cost of the project will be paid for out of the energy cost savings achieved.

Business Minister, Matthew Hancock said:

This is a hugely welcome investment from Citi, one of the first of its kind for the banking sector. Reducing energy costs makes sound business sense and shows that businesses across the UK can benefit from making the most of green technology. We’ve already invested £3.8 billion into the Green Investment Bank opening up jobs and paving the way for projects like this one from Citi. But we are committed to going further to make sure the whole system is more efficient.

Jonathan Maxwell, Chief Executive, SDCL said:

This investment delivers an innovative solution for one of SDCL’s core global clients in a critical infrastructure asset. This project demonstrates that energy efficiency can deliver a combination of better financial performance, better environmental performance and better infrastructure solutions.

It has been estimated that the UK data centre industry requires approximately 3 GW of energy each year, making it one of the largest consumers of energy in the economy. The banking and finance sector currently accounts for the greatest percentage of overall UK data centre energy use, closely followed by IT services, media and telecommunications. The UK is the third largest consumer of data centre-related energy in the world behind the US and Japan.

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