Data centre first for nation

The planning permit application has been lodged with Wyndham council.. Photo by Damjan Janevski. 209276_03

By Alesha Capone

In an Australian first, a planning permit application seeking permission to build a $3 million modularised data centre at the Werribee tip has been lodged with Wyndham council.

The application is from LMS Energy Pty Ltd, which already owns and operates the Wyndham Renewable Energy Facility located at the Wests Road refuse disposal facility.

LMS Energy has operated the facility, which has five generator modules powered with biogas generated by the nearby landfill, since 2011.

Electrical output from the facility is more than 43,000 megawatt hour (Mwh) per year of baseload renewable power, which is delivered into the local Powercor distribution network.

Under the new planning permit application, LMS Energy is proposing to install and operate six data centre modules to be powered by the renewable electricity generated on-site.

“The most unique aspect of the proposed development is its place as the first bio-energy powered data centre in Australia,” the planning permit application lodged with the council reads.

“The modularised data centre will be developed in a staged approach, with the initial stage 1 installation of 2 x data centre modules to occur in 2021.

“Stage 2 of the development will incorporate four additional data centre modules placed on concrete sleepers and covered by two arch roof shelters, serviced by two 2MW transformers.”

Each module will measure around 12 metres long, 3.4 metres wide and 2.4 metres high.

The facility will operate automatically without any onsite staff, apart from periodic checks from visiting maintenance technicians.

“Apart from construction, decommissioning and maintenance activities, the site will be un-manned, meaning there will be no increase to local traffic and transport activities,” the planning application reads.

“The primary use of the data centre will be to house information technology processing equipment including servers, network links and other components for the purpose of storing and processing data.”