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Microsoft proposes new data centres on former Eggborough Power Station site

Written by Mon 4 Mar 2024

Microsoft has proposed building two new data centres on part of the site of the former Eggborough Power Station in North Yorkshire. 

The Eggborough Power Station has been a vacant brownfield since 2018 when it was decommissioned. Microsoft’s proposal for the new site intends to ‘bring this former industrial site back into employment use’.

The proposals include two new data centre buildings, including data halls, office space, and further ancillary facilities. The size and the capacity of the proposed data centres were not shared.

As part of the site proposal, Microsoft said it will prioritise biodiversity with planned landscaping including wet grassland, native tree planting, and wildlife ponds. 

“Microsoft strives to be a good neighbour and to create a positive impact in the communities that are home to our data centres,” said Microsoft.

The company added it is committed to having 100% renewable energy coverage globally by 2025, whilst eliminating the use of diesel for backup power by 2030. Microsoft added the company is also committed to cooling data centres with outside air and collecting rainwater where possible.

Following consultation from the local public, Microsoft said it will review the feedback received and submit its proposal to the North Yorkshire Council in mid-2024. Construction of the data centres is expected to begin in early 2027.

Eggborough Power Station began generating power in 1967 with a capacity of 1,960MW, enough electricity to power two million homes. The station closed in September 2018 and its demolition started in 2020.

Property development and investment group, St Francis Group, acquired 130 acres of Eggborough Power Station in 2019. The firm intended to replace the station with warehouse units. The proposed EPH gas plant will be constructed adjacent to the redevelopment.

In October, Microsoft also announced it was set to apply for planning permission to build a new data centre in Newport, Wales. Microsoft did not reveal details regarding the scope of development or potential timeline, but a rendering posted in the blog indicated it could be a single-storey data centre.

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Written by Mon 4 Mar 2024

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