Mega data centre being built at Earnscleugh

Construction of a cryptomine data centre made up of eight containers housing nearly 3000 servers near the Clyde Dam is under way.

Resource consents were approved for Contact Energy’s application for a 0.65ha two-lot subdivision, and land use consent for the construction of a data centre and associated facilities at 46 Fruitgrowers Rd, Earnscleugh, by hearings commissioner Bob Nixon in March.

Contact’s 100%-owned subsidiary Simply Energy is managing the project and work on it began late last month.

Simply Energy director business development Murray Dyer said work included site preparation and civil works. That included temporary fencing installation, trenching and ducting for cabling, site excavation and preparation work for building pads, the installation of foundations and drainage, and electrical earthing mat installation.

He expected construction to wrap up in late September in preparation for its handover to UK-based digital infrastructure start-up Lake Parime.

When fully built, the site would house eight containerised data centres, each expected to hold 368 servers and using 10MW of electricity.

Lake Parime will operate the data centre under a lease agreement with Contact Energy and it was expected the facilities would only operate intermittently, when variable renewable energy sources meant there was excess power to use.

No staff would be permanently based at the site.

Lake Parime pitches itself as using excess renewable energy by shifting that power into one of its modular ‘‘Powerbox’’ data centres, and using that to run high-performance computing applications like machine learning, visualisation, and modelling, blockchain and cryptocurrency.

Otago electricity distributor Aurora Energy will build and operate a new substation for the data centre and that has been tipped to improve the reliability of electricity supply to the Clyde township and wider Clyde area.

The South Island is set to have excess power due to the scheduled closure of the Tiwai aluminum smelter plant in 2024.

Contact is looking to sign 300MW of power deals to make up for the loss.

Comments

"Otago electricity distributor Aurora Energy will build and operate a new substation for the data centre and that has been tipped to improve the reliability of electricity supply to the Clyde township and wider Clyde area."

Aurora Energy ?! On their track record/History alone that would be a worry.................

"Lake Parime pitches itself as using excess renewable energy ..."

Oh...so its "EXCESS Renewable Energy" now.! Seemingly suitable only for something as puerile as "crypto currency"...

What a terrible waste. Shame on those involved in this travesty.

 

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