Fife Council approves £100m green datacentre building plans

Development of green datacentre campus designed to help Scottish businesses tap into cloud computing trend

Fife Council has approved plans to build a large £100m datacentre campus in Glenrothes, Scotland, with the first of two phases pencilled in for completion by the end of 2016.

Once the building work is completed, it’s claimed the Queensway Park site will be home to the largest co-location datacentre campus in Scotland, with the first phase alone spanning 90,000 sq ft.

The developers are aiming for a power usage effectiveness rating of below 1.15 at the site through the use of precision air handling systems and the re-distribution of excess heat generated by the site to nearby offices.

They will also be drawing on renewable energy sources to power the campus, generated by an adjacent biomass plant that runs on wood-based waste and is reportedly the largest of its kind in the UK.

The council granted permission for work on the project to begin on Friday 17 April 2015, more than a year after a pre-application notice was lodged by AOC Group and County Properties Group, which are overseeing the development.

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The two companies, trading as Queensway Park Data Centres, said the project is necessary to ensure Scotland is better positioned to take advantage of cloud-based services as time goes on.

Fife Council head of economy, planning and employability services Robin Presswood added: “This is an important piece of business infrastructure that Fife can offer companies looking for improved business performance through cloud computing and to companies using big data to identify new business trends and opportunities, particularly in the financial services and the energy industries.”

There are currently only seven co-location facilities in Scotland, compared with 214 in the rest of the UK, which the companies claim could leave the country playing catch-up as more applications and services move off-premise and into the cloud.

As part of this, they claim the site will be underpinned by a high-speed, resilient fibre architecture provided by a number of carriers to ensure data transfers occur quickly, regardless of how much network traffic is being processed.

Queensway Park Data Centres director Alan O'Connor said the organisation is still working out exactly what services will be offered from the site, in line with user demand.

“Interest in the Fife facility has been strong and although we are building towards shared or co-location facilities, we are not ruling out the possibility of a single user requirement for either phase,” he said.

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