Microsoft data centre prior to deployment at EMEC (Credit Microsoft)

Naval Group

In June 2018, Naval Group led the successful installation of the 450kW subsea data centre at EMEC’s Billia Croo wave energy test site, on the west coast of the Orkney mainland.

The installation was carried out by local marine contractor Green Marine.

The operation was part of Phase 2 of Microsoft’s ‘Project Natick’, a research project investigating the numerous potential benefits that a standard, manufacturable, deployable undersea data centre could provide. The project is part of Microsoft’s ongoing quest for cloud data centre solutions that are less resource intensive and offer rapid provisioning, lower costs, and high agility to meet the needs of cloud users around the world.

Deepwater deployment offers ready access to cooling, a controlled environment, and has the potential to be powered by co-located renewable power sources, such as the pioneering wave and tidal energy technologies testing nearby at EMEC’s test sites.

The data centre, which is as powerful as several thousand high end consumer PCs and has enough storage for about five million movies, is anticipated to remain on site for around one year with the potential to remain at EMEC for up to five years.

Further details on the project are available on Microsoft’s blog: The Orkney Islands in Scotland just became one of the most exciting places in tech

The project is being partly supported by the INTERREG NWE FORESEA programme which has facilitated continuous remote monitoring from the Microsoft team based in Washington, USA.

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About Naval Group

Naval Group is a European leader in naval defence. As an international high-tech company, Naval Group uses its extraordinary know-how, unique industrial resources and capacity to arrange innovative strategic partnerships to meet its customers requirements. The group offers a wide range of marine renewable energy solutions. Attentive to corporate social responsibility, Naval Group adhere to the United Nations Global Compact. The group reports revenues of €3.7 bilion and has a workforce of 13,429 (data for 2017).

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