One of UK’s largest data centre developments has been switched on and is on target for practical completion in December, it has been announced. The KAO Data Campus in Harlow, a £200m science and technology data centre development at the heart of the London-Stansted-Cambridge corridor, has announced the full start up of its data centre campus nearly two months ahead of schedule.
Paul Finch, chief operating officer at KAO Data explained: “Taking power out of the critical path de-risks the delivery, positioning the project for further success. It is also an important step towards the realization of phase one of the development. With the first building due to be declared watertight in July, energization of the site means that installation of engineering infrastructure can go ahead without hindrance.”
KAO Data Park has secured a 43.5 MVA power supply served by its own UKPN adoptable substation. The company has made a significant investment in the power train, with three primary transformers in N+1 configuration independently fed from the primary grid to ensure maximum resilience for all four buildings on the site, which will house sixteen technology suites in its final built-out state.
Finch added, “Energization of the site is a serious tick in the box for any data centre owner and operator. We can now proceed through levels 1 to 5 of the commissioning process to keep the facility on target for its practical completion by December this year. Keeping this project on time and on budget is to the credit of a very accomplished and dedicated professional and contracting team. Particular credit goes to Matrix Networks in collaboration with JCA Engineering.”
With power secured and available to cover the capacity requirements of the entire campus, KAO Data is about to enter negotiations for a power purchasing agreement to supply 100% renewable energy for customers who wish their data centre operations to be based on zero carbon platform bolstering their sustainability credentials at each of KAO’s sixteen data halls.
Councillor Tony Durcan, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration and Enterprise at Harlow Council, a part-funder of the infrastructure works, commented: “The Council was pleased to be a partner in this important development for the town. The data centre campus is a significant element in the continuing science and technology-led economic development of Harlow. It will also be a strong complement to our adjacent Science Park. I am delighted that the KAO Data team has reached this significant milestone ahead of schedule and look forward to completion of the first building.”
The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) also supported the KAO Data development with £2.5million repayable loan funding through the Local Infrastructure Fund (now replaced by the government’s Home Building Fund). A spokesperson said: “The HCA, in close collaboration with Harlow Council, is really pleased to have played a part in the successful delivery of this ambitious project within the Harlow Enterprise Zone.”