Ideal data centre locations in Scotland marked in new report

The updated Data Centre Site Selection Report says Scotland’s climate and renewable energy capability make it an ideal location for data centres

A 150-page document which will be presented at the end of June has highlighted sites suitable for green data centre development.

The new report, commissioned by Host in Scotland, has identified 20 of the best sites in the country - five of which are new to the list and the other 15 highlighted in a previous report. It will be formally presented at a virtual event and Q&A titled ‘Data Centres in Scotland – A Road to a Greener Future’ on 28 June.

Host in Scotland is the umbrella organisation for the Scottish data centre and subsea sector industry. Its updated report aims to attract inward investment of major co-location facilities or hyperscale development. 

Locations for large-scale green data centre development in Scotland

The organisation, founded in 2017 and managed by Scottish Futures Trust and Scottish Enterprise, commissioned connectivity consultancy FarrPoint and specialist data centre consultancy TechRE to review its original site selection report from 2021.

Dr Andrew Muir. Credit: LinkedIn

“With its expanded list of desirable sites, our updated report is likely to be of great interest to current data centre owners or operators in Scotland, as well as potential new entrants to the market, infrastructure providers and investors,” Dr Andrew Muir, CEO at FarrPoint, said. 

“The methodology and approach are consistent with how the data centre industry identifies sites for further detailed due diligence, so the report provides a reliable and useful starting point and guide to investigating data centre opportunities.”

Suzanne Sosna, Director of Economic Opportunities at Scottish Enterprise, added: “This report builds on previous research that examines potential locations for large-scale green data centre development. We hope the report will kick-start conversations about Scotland’s attractiveness as a destination for these developments, leading to more investment and economic growth for the country.”

Sunrise and wind turbines on hills in Scotland

Climate and renewable energy factors make Scotland an ideal location for data centres

The study follows the Scottish Government’s Green Datacentres and Digital Connectivity Vision and Action Plan, positioning Scotland as a leading zero-carbon, cost-competitive location.

Their work identified the five new sites, which feature potentially good availability for renewable energy, bringing the list of potential sites across Scotland to 20. These new sites are Aberdeen ETZ, Queensferry One and Westfield Park in Fife, Millerhill/Old Craighall in Midlothian and Whitecross Innovation Park, Falkirk.

Henry Sutton, Director at TechRE said: “Scotland’s climate and renewable energy capability make it an ideal location for data centres. Our new report comes at an opportune time for the country, as data centres increasingly seek out access to large sources of sustainable energy whilst plans for renewable projects, particularly major wind farms off the coast of Scotland come to fruition.”

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