Dug Technologies targets renewables hot spot for new data centre


Perth-based Dug Technology has announced plans to build a 6 MW data high-performance computing campus on a 45-hectare site at Geraldton in the state’s mid-west and plans to power the facility using solar PV and wind power.

Dug Technology’s CEO and founder, Matt Lamont, said the installation of an onsite hydrogen battery system is also being investigated as part of the $5 million first stage.

The company, which already has data centres in Perth, Houston, London and Kuala Lumpur, said the decision to build in Geraldton was based on the city’s growing reputation as “one of the world’s premier renewable energy regions”.

“It has an ideal climate for both wind and solar, which complement each other to enable round-the-clock power supply,” the company said in a statement.

The region is fast becoming a renewable energy hotspot with the State Government last year calling for expressions of interest into its potentially 1.5 GW solar and wind hydrogen hub at Oakajee, 23km north of Geraldton.

Danish investment firm Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners is also looking to the region to further develop its green hydrogen initiatives, joining with Hydrogen Renewables Australia as it looks to develop the 5 GW Murchison Renewable Hydrogen Project near Kalbarri.

Dug Technology, which provides high-performance computing and software solutions for the global technology and resource sectors, said its Geraldton campus would utilise the company’s patented immersion-cooling technology, avoiding air-cooling infrastructure which it labelled inefficient, expensive and environmentally unfriendly.

The Dug Cool cooling system submerges standard HPC servers into a non-toxic dielectric fluid. The company said the system reduces energy usage and costs by 46%.

The cooling system sees servers immersed in a liquid, avoiding the need for server fans.

Image: Dug Technologies

“As demand for HPC continues to grow exponentially around the world we must invest in world-leading, carbon-free, cost-effective HPC solutions for our clients,” Lamont said.

“We developed our award-winning Dug Cool immersion system to reduce the energy footprint of our data centres.

“Having the ability to utilise this technology at scale would solidify the Geraldton campus as the world standard in environmentally-friendly HPC.”

Once complete, the Geraldton facility will be the largest site in the company’s data centre network.

Construction of the site, subject to approval, is set to begin in the third quarter of 2021 with the stage 1 data hall due to be commissioned in the first half of 2022.

Dug Technology’s announcement comes just weeks after fellow Australian software firm Edge Centres unveiled its model for grid-independent data distribution.

Edge Centres has established an off-grid data centre in Grafton, on the New South Wales north coast. The centre is powered by a 1 MW solar array which is backed up by lithium-ion battery storage.

The solar-powered model has already attracted interest from Japan and Edge Centres has plans to roll out 20 centres out across Australia.


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