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Plans for Scotland’s largest colo space approved

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£100 million Queensway Park campus in Fife will be powered by biomass

Queensway Park Data Centers has obtained permission to build Scotland’s largest colocation campus in Fife.

The facility will cost around £100 million, with the first phase offering space for 900 racks. It is being built to BREEAM ‘outstanding’ standards, with a projected PUE rating of less than 1.15. The campus is set to be one of the ‘greenest’ in the UK, since all of its power will be derived from a nearby biomass plant.

“This as 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 financial services and the energy industries,” said Robin Presswood, head of Economy, Planning and Employability Services at Fife Council.

Colo for Scotland

Queensway Park Data Center - artist's impression

Queensway Park facility - artist’s impression

Source: Queensway Park Data Centers

Queensway Park Data Centers is a joint venture between County Properties Group and AOC – both are established commercial property developers that have only recently directed their attention to the data center market.

Their first project is a two building campus in Queensway Park in Glenrothes, less than an hour’s drive from Edinburgh. Phase one will deliver a 75,000 sq ft facility incorporating 30,000 sq ft of technical space – enough to host 900 racks - and plenty of office accommodation. It is expected to open its doors by the end of 2016.

All power for the data center will be supplied by the recently built RWE Markinch Biomass Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant, which runs on wood waste from a nearby paper mill. The plant in Markinch is the largest of its kind in the UK, capable of producing up to 65MW of electricity. Meanwhile excess heat from the data center itself will be used to heat adjoining offices.

The development is set to produce the largest purpose built data center outside the M25 corridor which encircles London. Although it is designed to offer colocation facilities, its owners wouldn’t object if a single customer wanted to buy up either of the buildings.

AOC director Alan O’Connor previously said he expects Fife Council and local universities, including St Andrew’s, to take up some of the space in the first phase of the project. It is also likely to be connected to the Janet academic network.

Scotland is underserved by colocation providers: according to AOC, there are currently only seven colo facilities in Scotland, in comparison with around 214 across the rest of the UK.

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