Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/12/03/inverness_data/

Inverness to host UK's most eco-friendly datacentre

Highland snow provides welcome relief

By Bill Ray

Posted in Science, 3rd December 2008 15:19 GMT

Highland data hosting outfit Alchemy Plus is planning to use the Scottish winters to cool servers at a new datacentre in Inverness, piping the heat to nearby offices, shops and a hotel, while utilising the green energy that abounds north of the border.

The proposal is part of the regeneration of Inverness Harbour, and will include the construction of what Alchemy describe as "an iconic landmark building... that will act as a beacon for others", and one that they hope will boast sufficient green credentials to become the most environmentally sound in the country. The centre is going to cost around £20m and should, eventually, provide around 400 jobs.

Alchemy is based in Dingwall, a town across the bridge from Inverness (well, across two bridges) which hosts various datacentres as well as a busy call-centre business - if you've ever phoned Westminster council then you'll know Dingwell well. Alchemy has been running trials hosting cloud-computing services for the last 18 months, and reckons customers have saved 28 per cent of their costs - though it's not clear what that's compared to.

Alchemy intends to power all this iron using "established hydro-electric and wind power schemes", though we're not certain how they're going to make sure that the electricity they use comes from such sources.

Certainly the air around Inverness would be ideal for cooling at the moment - the El Reg Inverness corespondent tells us it's "bloody parky" up there right now, and some warming servers would be a welcome addition. ®