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Thursday, May 19, 2022

Ocean Powered Data Center In Scotland

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SIMEC Atlantis Energy Limited has announced its plans for a tidal-powered data center in the Caithness region of Scotland. The power supply for a data center of that kind would include electricity supplied via a private wire network from tidal turbines at the existing MeyGen project site.

This would be the first ocean powered data center in the world, with the potential to attract a hyperscale data center occupier to Scotland, according to the company.

It is expected that the data center would be connected to multiple international subsea fibre optic cables, offering a fast and reliable connection to London, Europe and the USA.

Further connectivity to the central belt using domestic terrestrial networks could significantly improve Scottish data and connectivity resilience.

The MeyGen project has a seabed lease and consents secured for a further 80MW of tidal capacity, in addition to the 6MW operational array which has now generated more than 20,000MWh of electricity for export to the grid.

The target operations date for the data center is expected to be 2024, in line with the expansion plans for the tidal array, however a smaller initial data center module could be deployed sooner to draw on the output from the existing tidal array, the company revealed.

“Data is being touted as the new oil. It is arguably becoming the world’s most valuable resource, and the amount of data requiring storage is increasing at a staggering pace,” said Tim Cornelius, CEO of SIMEC Atlantis.

“However, data centers are undeniably power-hungry, and the clients of data center operators are rightly demanding power be sourced from renewable and sustainable sources.

“This exciting project represents the marriage of a world-leading renewable energy project in MeyGen with a data center operator that seeks to provide its clients with a large amount of computing power, powered from a sustainable and reliable source – the ocean.

“At MeyGen we have many of the ingredients to provide clean power to the data center, including a large grid connection agreement, proximity to international fibre optic connections and persistent cool weather.

RELATED: Data Centers In The Arctic

“We also believe that Scotland can play a key role in the global data center industry thanks to its ready access to clean energy and we are eager to play our part at Atlantis to turn this potential into reality.”

The data center could also alleviate constraints on other local renewable energy development, which is restricted by the current grid capacity and the closure of renewable energy subsidy mechanisms.

Atlantis is in discussions with world-leading data center operators to progress plans for the data center and facilitate the expansion of MeyGen using the Scottish supply chain.

It is expected that the turbines to power this giant data center will be manufactured in Scotland.

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