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SIMEC Atlantis, TechRE discuss potential data centres at Uskmouth plant

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SIMEC Atlantis Energy has entered into talks with data centre development specialist TechRE regarding the Uskmouth power station development in Wales, UK.

The firms are exploring options to locate edge and hyperscale data centres within the power station development. It is proposed that power could be delivered through a private wire network under a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) to owners and operators of these data centres built on-site at Uskmouth.

The Uskmouth Power Station Conversion Project recently completed successful testing of waste-derived fuel pellets, formed of 50% biogenic waste and plastic waste, with the help of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

Henry Sutton, head of EMEA Projects at TechRE, said: “TechRE is delighted to be working with Atlantis to help develop initial designs and identify potential anchor customers for an exciting new data centre campus to be located next to, and sustainably and responsibly powered by this ground-breaking conversion project.

“Data centre and end-users are increasingly requiring access to renewable power to power the digital economy and a key competitive advantage from this project will be the lower costs generated by a sustainable supply provided by private wire connection.

“The Uskmouth site will be attractive for hyperscale, wholesale co-location and internet edge operators and will form a unique, fully connected and sustainable tech hub.”

Tim Cornelius, CEO of SIMEC Atlantis Energy, commented: “The continued focus on the transition to a carbon-neutral economy has received fresh impetus as a result of the impact of COVID-19 and countries around the world are looking at the opportunities presented by a move to a carbon-free economy as a way to create jobs and generate sustainable prosperity.

“The Uskmouth project is leading the way to a sustainable future and we are delighted that so much progress has been able to be made on this important project, despite the disruptions we have all experienced so far in 2020.”

Cornelius went on to say that the decision to phase the conversion into two stages is “prudent” as it de-risks supply chain timelines, fuel supply and the timeline to first electrons exported to the grid and, therefore, revenue generation. He added: “Further, we are delighted to be working with TechRE on the potential development of a large, private wire supply contract to data centre operations at Uskmouth.

“This could become one of the most exciting corporate PPA projects in the UK, demonstrating how the digital economy can work hand-in-hand with sustainable energy generators to establish more data centre capacity in the UK to meet ever-growing demands in an ethical and responsible way.”