Nautilus, the company best known for its floating data centers, is cleaning up a plot of ground for its new land based site.

The new $300 million data center will be on a vacant plot in site which once held the world's largest paper mill in Millinocket, Maine. And the company told local media there's some tidying up to be done.

Debris removal

“Permitting, detailed site evaluation, and site preparation work. There is a lot of debris removal be done,” vice president for marketing Ashley Sturm told Bangor Daily News.

The Great Northern Paper mill once made newsprint for most of the East Coast of the US, but ceased production in 2008, leaving a vacant site with its own hydroelectric power plant.

The site is owned by community body Our Katahdin, and the area in Penobscott County is an Opportunity Zone which makes businesses there eligible for tax incentives. Nautilus has taken a 99-year lease to begin the revitalization of the site, the company's CEO James Connaughton told DCD in an interview.

Nautilus has previously made a name for itself with data centers on barges - after tests, it opened its first data center in the Port of Stockton in California earlier this year and has another in development in Ireland.

The 13-acre Nautilus site is placed halfway up the slope to the hydroelectric plant, so it will benefit from gravity-fed water. Nautilus will use the same water-cooling system deployed in the operation at Stockton.

Our Katahdin is examining soil samples on the Nautilus plot and will be doing a detailed site evaluation, according to the Bangor Daily News.

Nautilus' barge-based design, announced in California in 2015, is cooled by the water in which it floats, circulated through a secondary cooling system. Nautilus has had investment from Orion Energy Partners, and from Keppel in Singapore.

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