A £950 million project to build one of the world’s largest data centres in rural Scotland is just days away from approval by local council officials. Although the build has already received firm verbal support from public figures, a meeting on November 25th will see the ratification of the plans.
Once given the go-ahead, farmland not far from Lockerbie will become the site of frenetic activity as nearly a billion pounds worth of investment will flood in once construction gets underway.
The project is the brainchild of Lockerbie Data Centres Ltd and it hopes that work can begin in 2010, allowing the project to open its gates for business by late in 2011. A quarter of a million square meters of land will be incorporated into the project and progressive techniques for construction and operation are assured.
Despite the remote location, the new data centre will be right next to a biomass power station and a close neighbour to a wind farm, which officials believe will allow 50% of the power to be provided by these renewable sources.
The Scottish climate is seen as a big bonus in terms of the operation of the data centre, as it will use an air cooling system, with natural circulation providing an energy efficient and low cost way of keeping temperatures down. Waste heat produced by the centre is expected to be reused, further increasing the green credentials of the project.
In addition to the data centre, the planned development will see the erection of a business park with modern offices, as well as the creation of an agricultural research facility. A total of more than 60 jobs will be created by the data centre alone, with various non-technical roles relating to estate management ensuring that the local community will benefit from the project.
It is expected that the data centre will draw more local investment from a variety of sources, with a total figure of over £3.5 billion expected if everything proceeds as planned. The boost to the Scottish economy is expected to be the catalyst for thousands of new jobs and regeneration on a national scale.