Microsoft Makes $3.2B AI Bet on Swedish Data Centers

The move cements the tech-giant’s footprint in the nation by adding 20,000 GPUs at its three data centers.

Bloomberg News

June 4, 2024

1 Min Read
Microsoft plans to invest $3.2bn in AI and cloud facilities in Sweden
Image: Bloomberg

Microsoft plans to invest $3.2 billion in artificial intelligence and cloud facilities in Sweden, its largest-ever infrastructure bet in the Nordic country drawing on the region’s rich supply of green energy.

The move cements the tech-giant’s footprint in the nation by adding 20,000 GPUs, or graphics processing units, at its three data centers. The company is also committing to training 250,000 in “essential AI skills,” according to a statement on Monday.

“This large investment reflects our belief in how much Sweden can benefit from AI,” Microsoft Vice Chair and President Brad Smith said in an interview. He praised the nation as “one of the continent’s most innovative countries,” while adding that the nation will only remain a leader if it uses AI.

The Nordic region has become a prime target for big energy users thanks to the abundance of clean energy, with hydropower dominating the power mix. Facebook-owner Meta Platforms and Google-owner Alphabet both have their own large facilities across the Nordics. 

Data centers compete with other industries looking to benefit from some of the cheapest electricity in the world. Several green mega-projects are expected to more than double power demand in the coming decade. 

When asked about the risk of a looming power crunch, Microsoft’s Smith said the company has coupled its data center investments with large bets on renewable energy. It has procured nearly 1 GW of power as well as signed a contract with state-owned power company Vattenfall. 

Related:Bitcoin Miners Pivot to Data Center Operations Amid AI Boom

“I don’t think we could have made an investment such as the one we have done in Sweden without a partner like Vattenfall,” Smith said.

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