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N-site data centre hopes

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale
N-site data centre hopes

CHAPELCROSS has been identified as a prime location for the siting of a green data centre, which could bring investment and jobs to the area.

The ex nuclear power plant is one of 12 spots shortlisted for the Scottish Government as having ‘high potential’ for a warehouse style development containing computer systems and storage facilities.

In the study by Host in Scotland and TechRE, Chapelcross is flagged up as a ‘first class’ location which could help establish Scotland as an attractive place for green datacentres and support digital ambitions and rollout of improved connectivity.

And researchers believe it has the potential to become a hyperscale or edge development – both of which could mean new jobs for the region.

Explaining, James King, from Host in Scotland, said: “Hyperscale relates to large/very large facilities which store huge quantities of data. Typically, these are needed/used by Google/Amazon Web Services, Microsoft etc for their own purposes, as well as to sell data storage and management to customers such as Netflix.

“Edge facilities are much smaller, but they tend to be many more of them, and these are used to provide much more localised services and contribute greatly to technologies such as 5G, IoT etc. which require many more local facilities in order to operate effectively.

“They are all necessary to deliver the overall ecosystem.”

The study considered over 100 sites across Scotland and looked at land

scale, power supply, connectivity, renewable power, unique story and resilience/hazards for each one.

Chapelcross, with its 543 acres, was found to have: “significant grid connectivity, existing fibre connectivity, large amounts of land along with close proximity to large scale renewables”.

The report added: “This site is of particular interest because of its ability to receive power from huge windfarms across Dumfries and Galloway, along with its potential to serve a population of 250,000 within 50km. Also, potential for new solar power (est 150-200MW).”

It notes that ‘abundant’ power, up to 600MW, is planned on site and that there are multiple fibre operators locally and it is low flood risk.

James King said there are “huge opportunities” across Scotland and he is now keen to engage with data centre owners, operators and investors to encourage them to consider the country as a location for their new facilities.

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