Covilhã data centre


The Portuguese town of Covilhã is now home to the world’s sixth biggest datacenter and the biggest in Europe. Officially opened by Portugal Telecom, the national historic operator, in September, the facility represents investment of €90m and will generate 1,400 jobs.

The datacenter’s first officially opened tranche has six rooms, each 520 square meters in area, together housing 12,500 servers out of a planned 50,000, and providing storage capacity of 30 petabytes (the equivalent of 3 billion music files!).

Sotécnica AFB, a Vinci Energies company, installed 14 low voltage distribution boards on behalf of Schneider. The work included the development of control systems, assembly and cabling of 88 columns with 80 x 100-630A plug-In rack modules and over 40 high-power, plug-in circuit breakers.

The Covilhã datacenter has been designed to have a reduced environmental footprint. According to Portugal Telecom, the use of wind power (a 28-turbine wind farm is located nearby), solar energy and “free cooling” (a cooling system for the data storage blocks) will enable emissions totalling 144,000 tonnes of CO2 to be avoided every year.

The datacenter has also been awarded TIER III certification from the Uptime Institute. This certification guarantees facility availability of 99.982%.