Metronode unveils south NSW data centre plans

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Metronode unveils south NSW data centre plans

Three buildings, six stages.

Leighton Holdings subsidiary Metronode could begin building one of two data centres proposed for use by the NSW Government by September, pending approval of detailed plans for the facility.

Plans lodged recently with Wollongong City Council pinpointed the specific location of the new facility at Unanderra, some six kilometres south-west of the Wollongong.

The documents also shed further light on the security requirements and development staging for the "data storage" facility.

They show that the rollout of data halls on site — called BladeRooms — are set to occur over six stages (pdf). No timelines are attached to the stage plans.

However, The Illawarra Mercury reported construction could begin in September, provided the council approved the plans. They are currently with a joint regional planning proposal.

At stage one, the data hall space is expected to be 705 square metres, rising to 1410 square metres in stage two and 2690 metres squared in stage three.

The remaining stages will see the data hall space balloon to 3970 square metres, to 5250 square metres, and eventually to 6530 square metres.

In total, the facility is expected to house 2340 racks in 78 computer rooms.

The plans show three buildings (pdf). One is to be single-storey, while the other two will be two-storey, which will see BladeRooms stacked on top of each other.

The total land size is 18,600 square metres. It also has to accommodate plant rooms, a transformer substation, car parking and landscaping.

The plans show early landscaping proposals to maintain physical site security and ensure that foliage does not interfere with the operation of ventilation systems or future satellite links (pdf).

Some environmental plans are also included, including a desktop study (pdf, 13MB) of "ambient particulate matter" — such as dust — which could impact the data centre facility.

The study flags emissions from the nearby OneSteel mill, BlueScope steel and "surrounding heavy industry" as potential sources of "fine particulate emissions".

It calls for a period of dust monitoring at the site to aid air filter specifications.

The Unanderra data centre is one of two facilities to be used by the NSW Government under a ten-year, $182 million contract to consolidate departmental data centres.

It is expected to be complete by the end of next year.

The State Government is guaranteed 4.5 megawatts of power at each facility under the contract, and first right to veto other tenants at Metronode's data centres.

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