The Association of Municipal Enterprises (VKU) has awarded the Blue DC data center of the Cologne data center specialist High Knowledge with the VKU Innovation Prize. In the category "Municipal Water and Wastewater Management", "The blue data center", which High Knowledge planned and built for a municipal water supplier in Bavaria, received the coveted prize from the jury. According to the top-class VKU jury, Blue DC is an "excellent example of the spirit of innovation".

"We are very pleased about this award," says High Knowledge Managing Director Harry Knopf. "It shows that a lot can be achieved in the long term with sensible synergies." The Cologne-based data center specialist is responsible for the design and implementation of the project. This is where the sustainable Blue DC solutions come into play. In addition to high safety standards and a guaranteed power supply, an intelligent system is used to cool the servers and IT systems. Because the coupling with a waterworks offers large overlaps. The innovative refrigeration technology of the "blue data center" ensures low power consumption and the environmentally friendly energy storage allows the integration of renewable energies. For example, photovoltaic or wind power plants can be used to generate electricity. In addition, the waste heat from the servers can be used as process heat. Then, at certain times of the year, for example, the heat in the drinking water can be increased without the need for additional external energy. In addition, the operator also uses part of the waste heat from the system to heat its vehicle hall. By linking the waterworks and data center, more than 3,200 tons of CO₂ can be saved per year.

The climate-neutral data center is certified with the Blue Angel. In addition, it is fully redundant and therefore offers a very high level of reliability. The system is completely modular. As a result, the availability and protection class as well as the size can be individually selected and scaled according to the desired parameters.

The innovative concept of the project was honored by the top-class jury of the VKU this year. “The award winners are outstanding examples of the innovative spirit with which municipal companies strengthen services of general interest. They impressively show how we can master the challenges of climate change and the energy transition with the help of creativity, innovation and digitization," said VKU President and Jury Chairman Dr. Ulf Kampfer at the award ceremony.

The innovation prize has been awarded every two years since 2011 to outstanding and sustainable municipal projects. With the prize, the VKU, as the leading association of the municipal economy, promotes the role model function of innovative municipal companies. The winners are good examples of a modern municipal economy. The composition of the jury was outstanding and underscores the importance of the prize. Among others, the parliamentary state secretary at the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection, BMWK, Stefan Wenzel, Prof. Dr. Katharina Hölzle, MBA, Head of the Institute for Ergonomics and Technology Management (IAT) at the University of Stuttgart and member of the institute management at the cooperating Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering and Organization IAO, Klaus Hinkel, Editor-in-Chief Economics & Politics (Head), newspaper for municipal economy ( ZfK ) and Marion Walsmann , MEP, for the CDU in the EPP Group of the European Parliament on the winners of this year's award.

"Of course, we are very honored that the jury voted in favor of our project," said Managing Director Knopf. “The award is also a nice recognition of our cooperation with the municipal provider. I am therefore certain that we will continue to launch similar sustainable projects in the future.”

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