Ayrshire Earmarked For Next Scottish Green Data Centre


Planning application submitted for 10,000 square metre data centre that will be powered by wind turbines

Scotland is set to get another green data centre in 2016 that will be largely powered by six nearby wind turbines.

Planning application for the 10,000 square metre data facility in East Ayrshire has been submitted by a company called Intelligent Land Investments, and shows the data centre will draw 40 percent of its energy from renewable sources.

Cloud giants

Costing £5 million, the modular centre, which will be co-designed by Edinburgh-based Green Cat Renewables, will consist of four units and hopes to entice cloud giants such as Apple and Amazon into the area, said ILI.

Mark Wilson, director at ILI Ltd, said: “Demand for cloud computing, coupled with Scotland’s commitment to clean energy generation and Ayrshire’s natural temperature make Fenwick a perfect location for a purpose built, self-powered data storage centre.

“We live in a time when the global economy is highly dependent on efficient digital information systems without robust data security. The demand for reliable IT infrastructure around the world has been crucial in the massive expansion of data centre facilities globally. The Blair Farm Data Centre will be a landmark development for East Ayrshire – a data centre drawing a substantial amount of its energy from a green source.”

data centre

The facility will have a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) rating of 1.3, and use a low-energy ambient cooling system. When fully occupied, ILI said the Blair Farm Data Centre could require up to 80GWh of electricity every year. When the four buildings of the Data Centre are fully operational, the wind farm is expected to supply 34.1GWh of electricity to the centre over the course of the year, which is 42 per cent of the energy requirements

ILI claims on its website: “In Scotland, as with many countries, the best sources of renewable energy are found in the more remote places. Open and higher spaces mean more wind, great for the onshore wind industry.

“Lochs, reservoirs, and rivers provide perfect source materials for hydro schemes and it is the offshore tides which surround our country’s coast that depending on technology may provide us with another source of reliable renewable energy.”

In April, planning permission was granted for a £100 million data centre in Fife, which will be the largest colocation facility in the country.

The two ‘cloud hosting’ facilities at Queensway Park in Glenrothes are set to be finished by the end of 2016.

The company behind the build, Queensway Park data Centres Ltd, is a joint venture between AOC Group and County Properties Group.

The facility will draw power from the adjacent RWE Innogy biomass plant which is the largest built to date in the UK producing up to 65 mega watts of electricity. The majority of the plants fuel comes in the form of wood waste with a very small proportion from sustainable forestry.

Read what Greenpeace has to say about data centres here.

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