Technology company T4 Group and Invercargill Licensing Trust (ILT), which owns and manages the well-known Ascot Park Hotel in Invercargill, New Zealand, have released a new proposal to construct a data centre located near the hotel, off Racecourse Road.
T4 Group confirmed the location of the $50 million Tier IV-quality modular data centre in Southland, which would facilitate an innovative and sustainable partnership between T4 Group and ILT, where heat waste generated by the data centre would be used to heat the hotel.
Enhancing Efficiency and Sustainability
While the proposed data centre is still under construction, the planned collaboration between T4 Group and ILT addresses a long-term liability of data centres, heat waste.
The proposed data centre turns heat produced during data centre operations into an useful asset for the Ascot Park Hotel, which can reduce the hotel’s consumption of coal for heating.
Both T4 Group and ILT have expressed optimism for the proposed data centre’s potential to enhance the efficiency and sustainability of both businesses.
Director of T4 Group David Simpson said that “transferring our surplus heat is one of the sustainability innovations we are really proud of.”
Chris Ramsay, ILT Chief Executive, noted that the partnership was still in its very early stages, but he was excited with its potential benefits, stating that “T4 Group and ILT have been working together for a number of months now to understand how it could work”.
“ Our absolute aim is to reduce coal completely from the site. Whether this is achieved through this initiative or whether this initiative assists in achieving that, our ultimate aim is get out of the use of coal.”
Simpson revealed that construction of the data centre was expected to start later in 2022. He added that construction would be done in a modular format, which would facilitate ease of adjustment of the data centre, to ensure that the data centre could adapt and upgrade in the long-term, and continue to use best practices which keep pace with technological changes.
Cross-Sector Collaboration Crucial for New Zealand’s Sustainability Goals
The announcement of T4 Group and ILT’s partnership for a sustainable data centre will be welcomed in New Zealand, as the country has expressed a strong commitment to halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
Despite the country’s commitment to sustainability goals, New Zealand businesses’ ability to actualise those goals has been uneven. Notably, a report released in March 2022 by Microsoft New Zealand highlighted difficulties local businesses had been facing in sustainable transformation, due to a lack of in-house expertise and funding.
However, cross-sector collaborations towards business sustainability, as seen with T4 Group and ILT’s partnership for a new data centre, could be a gamechanger in enabling New Zealand to innovate for a greener future.