‘World’s first’ ocean powered data centre planned for Scotland

CAITHNESS has been identified as the site for an ocean powered data centre.

Sustainable energy provider, SIMEC Atlantis Energy (Atlantis), unveiled the plans for the data centre which would be powered via a private wire network from tidal turbines at the existing MeyGen project site.

It is expected that the data centre will 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, say developers.

The MeyGen project has a seabed lease 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.

Tim Cornelius, CEO of SIMEC Atlantis, commented,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.”

The data centre is expected to be opened in 2024.