Edinburgh - An underwater data centre is apparently no longer a fantasy, as Microsoft sinks a data centre off the coast of Orkney island, in the North Sea. The purpose of placing the data centre underwater is to lower the energy cost it takes to cool the servers, while Orkney Island was chosen as the location because of its relatively low sea temperatures.
Cindy Rose, chief executive officer of Microsoft UK, writes in an article on the company’s website that “Microsoft is exploring the idea that data centres – essentially the backbone of the internet – can be based on the sea floor.”
The data centre “is powered by renewable energy from the European Marine Energy Centre’s tidal turbines and wave energy converters, which generate electricity from the movement of the sea.”
Paul Wheelhouse, the Scottish devolved government’s Energy Minister, says that ”with our supportive policy environment, skilled supply chain, and our renewable energy resources and expertise, Scotland is the ideal place to invest in projects such as this.”