The data center industry is going greener, at least in terms of its energy consumption model, switching to renewable sources to reduce the carbon footprint. And while most opt for energy sources such as solar or wind, a company has decided to create the first data center powered by tidal energy, to be built in Scotland.
The Simec Atlantis Energy company has decided to bet on tidal energy to generate the electricity that will power its next data center. This technology has been studied for many years, with different proposals for underwater turbines and other systems that take advantage of water movements to generate electricity.
Until now, almost all renewable energy generation projects have opted for hydroelectric, solar or wind. And this is the same path that data center operators who want to leave behind polluting energies are following. But this company has decided to take advantage of the special conditions of the North Atlantic for its next data center.
The facility will be built by engineering firm AECOM, near where Simec already has a tidal power station (MeyGen), in northern Scotland. And its creators intend to take advantage of the sea not only to generate electricity, but also for the cooling system of the equipment. And thanks to the location where the data center will be built, it will be able to offer near-direct interconnection to some of the major intercontinental data cables, with branches to London, Europe and the United States.
This project is a great milestone in itself, but it is also part of an ambitious plan by the company, which aims to supply up to 80 Megawatts of electricity to the public grid by 2024, after a large investment in research and development of technologies for tidal power generation.
“This would be the world’s first ocean-powered data center in the world“, company representatives say in a statement, and they hope this innovation will attract a major hyperscale data center customer to the Scotland region. Its CEO, Tim Cornelius, believes that “Scotland can play a key role in the global data center industry“.
He added that “Data centers are undoubtedly power hungry. Customers of data center operators are demanding that energy come from renewable and sustainable sources“. And this is an approach the company wants to enter, providing the world’s first data center that is powered by energy extracted from the tides.