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April 17, 2014

Is this the UK’s first “100% green” data centre?

Construction should begin in the next few months for the £40m data centre in Fife.

By Jimmy Nicholls

AOC Group, a Scottish commercial real estate developer, has submitted a planning application for the construction of the UK’s first fully green data centre in Glenrothes, Fife.

Pending approval of a further application, the £40m project in Queensway Business Park is hoped to begin this year, in a move that is claimed will create 250 construction jobs, plus 50 technology and engineering jobs once the centre is complete.

Alan O’Connor, director of AOC Group, said: "It’s probably the most technologically advanced building we’ve ever been involved with, because of the technology involved in the cooling and the uninterruptable power supply."

The 75,000ft2 data centre will draw power from the £200m biomass heat and power plant in Markinch, which opened last month and is predicted to be running at full capacity in May.

Replacing a coal plant from the 1940s, the new biomass plant runs mostly on wood waste recovered from construction sites, processing about 8% of the UK’s supply, according to Fife Today.

The local news site reported that the plant had prompted protests from residents concerned over harmful emissions, light pollution and noise levels.

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Lesley Laird, council spokesperson for Economy and Planning, said: "News of this development for Glenrothes is particularly welcome not only in terms of the employment opportunities it will bring, but in enhancing the Council’s plans to regenerate the entire estate."

The 1,500 rack facility is expected to have a power usage effectiveness rating of 1.15, and its plans have been approved by environmental assessors BREEAM.

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