Telenor, Hafslund and HitecVision announce 2.4 billion NOK investment in Oslo data center

Photo: Skygard

Oslo, March 19th, 2024

The current geopolitical situation and the AI revolution increases the need for secure data storage on Norwegian soil. Telenor, Hafslund and HitecVision have hired a security director from the Norwegian Communications Authority as the CEO of their new joint venture, called Skygard. The construction of Skygard’s first secure and energy efficient data center in Oslo is now starting.

Telenor, Hafslund and HitecVision have decided to invest NOK 2.4 billion in the joint venture.

“We are proud to be making an investment that will ensure that Norway gets much-needed data centers emphasizing security and sustainability. We have great ambitions for Skygard and the timing is highly appropriate: the current geopolitical situation increases the need for secure solutions, whilst we simultaneously see an increasingly pressured market when it comes to capacity,” says Jannicke Hilland, Chair of the Board of Skygard and Executive Vice President for Infrastructure at Telenor.

The first data center will be built in Hovinbyen, Oslo, with construction starting in March 2024. Telenor Norway is the anchor customer in the project and Skygard is already in dialogue with several potential customers for the project.

The incoming head of Skygard is Elise Lindeberg, transitioning from the position of Director of Security at the Norwegian Communications Authority where she has led security and emergency preparedness work. Lindeberg has also been a member of the government’s emergency and preparedness commission.

“Skygard aims to be a Norwegian alternative in an international industry. Elise Lindeberg brings with her an impressive background in security and emergency preparedness,” says Jannicke Hilland.

Skygard stands out in the data center market by having Norwegian owners, a strong focus on energy-efficient operations, and meeting the needs of customers with very high security requirements.

“There is extensive digitization in all sectors of society, leading to an increasing number of important and critical services relying on good digital solutions and security. Data storage plays a significant role, and I look forward to contributing to building up Skygard,” says Elise Lindeberg.

The data center in Hovinbyen aims to be the most energy-efficient in Norway. Surplus heat will be utilized and fed into the district heating network. Modern data centers like Skygard will reduce between 50 to 70 percent of the energy requirement, compared to old data centers.

“Skygard’s customers demand a high level of security and require environmentally friendly data storage. We have electricity and available capacity, and adapt to specific customer needs related to volume and security,” says Martin S. Lundby, Board Member of Skygard and Deputy CEO of Hafslund.

It was recently announced that Telenor is also entering into extensive cooperation in artificial intelligence with Nvidia.

“Through our collaboration with Nvidia, we will be able to establish independent and Norwegian-owned cloud platforms operated on Norwegian soil, where artificial intelligence is one of the central drivers. This will contribute to Skygard’s data centers delivering highly efficient, advanced, and secure solutions,” says Jannicke Hilland.

The data center in Hovinbyen will launch operations during the first half of 2025. The data center will be a co-location facility for multiple tenants. In addition to the first center, Skygard aims to build two more data centers in the capital region. When fully developed, the three data centers are planned to have a combined capacity of 40MW.

Skygard is owned by Telenor (31.7%), Hafslund (31.7%), HitecVision (31.7%), and Analysis Mason Nordic (5.0%).