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Construction of £150m biomass-powered datacentre starts in Scotland

The developers behind Scottish green datacentre project confirm the campus is finally under construction

The construction of a 100% renewably powered datacentre campus is finally underway in Fife, Scotland, and is on course to accept its first slew of colocation customers in 18 months.

The carrier-neutral site will draw power from the UK’s largest biomass plant in Markinch, Fife, and is expected to cost around £150m to build all three of its proposed phases.

From a technical standpoint, the campus is projected to have an IT load capacity of up to 20MW, will boast data halls spanning just over 23,225 sq metres and have sufficient space to house up to 1,000 high performance computing racks.

Sited in Queensway Park in Glenrothes, news of the project first emerged in 2014, after a planning application for the site was submitted by AOC Group.

The company claims the project will create more than 300 construction jobs in the local area in the immediate term. Once the building work is complete, they also anticipate that a further 50 permanent roles will open up for datacentre-focused operations and management staff to oversee the running of the site.

First UK green-powered datacentre campus

According to AOC, who are jointly developing the site with Edinburgh-based County Properties Group, the campus will be the first of its kind in the UK to be exclusively powered by renewable energy.

At the time of writing, the pair were reportedly in advanced talks with colocation provider Etix Everywhere about enlisting its help in running the campus and its datacentre operations.

Alan O’Connor, director of Queensway Park, described the project as one of the most challenging his company has worked on to date.

“This is the culmination of four years carefully planning every aspect of design and resilience,” he said.

“We have built an excellent experienced project team who fully understand the demands on such an important part of Scotland’s critical IT infrastructure.”

Project brings economic benefits to Fife

Lesley Laird, deputy leader and executive spokesperson for economy and planning at Fife Council, said the project looks set to bring a number of economic benefits to the area.

“Fife is at the forefront of renewable energy and innovation, and this most recent development reinforces our position. 

“With more than 300 construction jobs being available during the build process and up to 50 full time posts being created on completion, this investment in the Glenrothes area is a positive boost for local jobs and good news for people across Fife,” said Laird.

“Fife has a lot to offer businesses as we aspire to be the best place to do business. I am delighted to see this demonstrated by the confidence that County Properties Group and AOC Group has in Fife’s skills base.”

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