'Highly sustainable' data centre slated for Perth

Schneider Electric

Wednesday, 20 September, 2023

'Highly sustainable' data centre slated for Perth

A 96 MW data centre in Perth is set to hit new sustainability goals thanks to a strategic partnership between Schneider Electric and GreenSquareDC.

GreenSquareDC is a company specialising in sustainable data centre solutions for hyperscale, government and wholesale customers committed to tackling climate change. Data centres account for approximately 4% of Australia’s energy usage each year.

For the Perth project, GreenSquareDC sought to partner with the similarly environmentally conscious Schneider Electric to set a new bar for data centre design.

“As we continue to shift to a more digital and sustainable world, the demand for data centres is rapidly increasing, so it’s important for data centre operators to create sustainability roadmaps that will reduce the environmental impact of these critical assets,” said Joe Craparotta, Vice President of Data Centres at Schneider Electric.

“We are excited and humbled to be selected by GreenSquareDC after their assessment of the market. This exciting new flagship project will allow us to collectively pave the way to a greener, more efficient data centre model.”

The new data centre, named WAi1, will utilise Schneider Electric solutions to minimise its carbon footprint while maximising operational efficiency. The infrastructure will meet four main criteria:

  1. Increase resilience: At a minimum, WAi1 will have the same level of resiliency, reliability and uptime as a traditional-sized data centre. Through the partnership, it will meet and aim to exceed these high levels of resiliency.
  2. Set a benchmark for sustainability: WAi1 has been specifically designed to set a new sustainability standard for the industry. The new design will deliver a considerably lower overall environmental footprint than comparable data centres, with significantly lower embodied carbon as well as vastly reduced power and water consumption.
  3. Maintain total cost of ownership (TCO): Looking through the lens of GreenSquareDC owning and operating the data centre, as well as its customers, the newly designed data centre will have the same, if not lower, TCO as regular data centres. This will be taken over the entire life cycle of the data centre.
  4. Enable high-density AI and GPU solutions: WAi1 will be a hub for innovation, specifically designed to accommodate the growing demand for high-density AI and GPU-based computational needs. By integrating cutting-edge cooling and power solutions, it aims to ensure that even the most resource-intensive operations can be conducted with minimal environmental impact.

“Schneider Electric is a natural partner for GreenSquareDC, and we look forward to working with their expert team to help our sustainability vision for the future come to life,” said Walt Coulston, founder and CEO of GreenSquareDC.

“This collaboration marks a significant step in the data centre industry. bringing the highest levels of sustainability and reliability and at a time when it’s needed the most.”

Construction on WAi1 is planned to begin in early 2024, with expected completion of the first stage in 2025. Further highly sustainable, AI-enabled data centres are planned across Australia and the APAC region.

Image caption: Artist’s impression of the planned data centre in Belmont, Perth. Image: Supplied.

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