At a time when many new data center projects are being scrapped or postponed for lack of funding, a UK technology company is announcing plans for a $40 million utility computing data center in Inverness, Scotland.
Alchemy Plus says the global credit crunch will boost demand for hosted data center services built on the "pay as you go" utility model. The company, a Microsoft partner, has recently launched a utility computing platform and reports strong customer interest.
The plans for the new facility at Inverness Harbour call for a first phase of 20,000 square feet of data center space, with room for two expansion phases of 10,000 square feet apiece. Alchemy Plus says the data center will be supported by up to 100 megawatts of power from two utility feeds, and will incorporate hydro and wind power.
Alchemy Plus says it intends to transmit waste heat from the data center to warm
neighbouring buildings in the Inverness Harbour development including retail units,
offices and a major hotel.
"This development could not be better timed," said Peter Swanson, Chairman of Alchemy Plus. "Demand for premium data centre space continues to far outstrip
available supply and the current economic downturn is driving a rapid shift towards
'cloud' based services which offer greater economy and flexibility.
"Utility computing will revolutionize the way businesses use computers and seriously
cut costs for many companies and public sector organizations," said Swanson. "All the major players see this as the future of IT delivery and I'm delighted that we in the Highlands are leading the way for the rest of the UK. We want to construct an iconic landmark building for the city that will act as a beacon for others."
A planning application for the new development is being prepared and envisions the data center being completed by the end of 2010. Alchemy Plus says the center eventually may employ as many as 400 workers.
"This is good news for Inverness," said Stewart Nicol, Chief Executive of Inverness Chamber of Commerce. "This project will really put the city on the map for developments in information technology. This is a field in which Inverness and the Highlands can excel and we need to take full advantage of the opportunities itoffers."