Plans unveiled for ‘world’s first’ ocean-powered data centre in Scotland

SIMEC Atlantis Energy says the electricity would be supplied via a private wire network from tidal turbines at the existing MeyGen project site

Big Zero Report 2022

Plans to build what is claimed will be the world’s first and largest data centre powered by ocean energy in Scotland have been unveiled.

SIMEC Atlantis Energy says the electricity would be supplied via a private wire network from tidal turbines at the existing MeyGen project site.

The data centre is expected to be connected to multiple international subsea fibre optic cables, offering a “fast and reliable” connection to London, Europe and the US.

In addition to the 6MW operational array, the MeyGen project – which has generated more than 20,000MWh of electricity so far – has secured a seabed lease and consent for a further 80MW of tidal capacity.

The new data centre is expected to be operational by 2024, in line with the expansion plans for the tidal array, however, SIMEC Atlantis Energy intends to deploy a smaller initial data centre module sooner to draw the output form the existing tidal array.

The company has been working with engineering firm AECOM to assess the feasibility of connecting to high-speed international fibre option connections and undertake the systems design for a data centre with access to renewable energy with grid back-up.

Tim Cornelius, CEO of SIMEC Atlantis said: “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. However, data centres are undeniably power hungry and the clients of data centre 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 centre 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 centre, including a large grid connection agreement, proximity to international fibre optic connections and persistent cool weather.

“We also believe that Scotland can play a key role in the global data centre 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.”

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