COSMA is a large consumer of electricity. The UK national grid has not yet been decarbonised, and therefore COSMA is responsible for production of a large amount of CO2.

We are taking some steps, within our control, to help mitigate this. You will find some of this information here.

  • Quarterly energy reporting to users and project PIs: an email every quarter providing information about energy consumption by each user’s jobs.

  • Partaking in UKRI Net Zero panels and discussions.

  • Using SLURM to power off unwanted compute nodes: currently DINE and COSMA5. Other systems see close to 100% use, so would have minimal benefit.

  • BIOS configurations to reduce node idle power while not affecting job runtimes.

  • Working with suppliers to reduce packaging and embedded CO2.

  • Installation of ~£1m solar panels to offset COSMA’s electricity usage.

  • Encouraging users to move to more efficient codes and workloads.


Here is a list of collected publications that we have discovered.




Solar Panels

In 2023, we installed approximately £1m of solar panel infrastructure on the site hosting the data centre, to provide power for COSMA, helping to offset CO2, in conjuncation with Durham University Estates and Facilities.

Installed facilities include panels situated on:

  • Confluence building

  • Collingwood college Alnwick building

  • Collingwood college Richmond building

85% of the power produced is to be used by COSMA to offset electricty costs for a 10 year period commencing April 2024.

The funding for this project was received from UKRI for DiRAC Federation projects and is a trail-blazing project which could see other such schemes across the UK.