SIMEC Atlantis discusses plan for ocean powered data centre in Scotland

Phase 1A installation. Source: SIMEC Atlantis Energy (simecatlantis.com)

September 9 (Renewables Now) - SIMEC Atlantis Energy Ltd (LON:SAE) has plans for the world’s first ocean-powered data centre and is currently holding talks with operators interested in the project, it announced on Monday.

The tidal power specialist envisages a new data centre to be built in the Caithness region of Scotland, where it could be supplied with electricity from the company's flagship MeyGen project. At present, there is a 6-MW operational tidal power array at the project site and the company has a seabed lease and consents secured for a further 80 MW.

The target operations date for the data centre would be 2024. It will have to wait for the expansion of the tidal plant to be finalised, but a smaller initial data centre module could be installed sooner to benefit from the output of the existing tidal array, Atlantis said.

The company explained that such projects would be able to sell electricity directly to the data centre via a new private wire network, thereby receiving a premium to wholesale power prices. This means that it will not rely on the UK government’s current limited support schemes for renewables.

If the project gets realised, the data centre will be hooked to multiple international subsea fibre optic cables, providing connection to London, Europe and the US. Engineering firm AECOM (NYSE:ACM) has been helping Atlantis assess the feasibility of this concept, according to the announcement.

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