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First nuclear-powered data centre at Susquehanna completed

(WNN) | Updated: 2023-01-19
2023-01-19 (WNN)

Talen Energy's Cumulus Data says that the powered shell for its first 48 MW, 300,000 square foot data centre is complete and with various fibre routes in service. The data centre is powered by a direct connection to the 2.5 GW Susquehanna nuclear power station in northeast Pennsylvania.


A rendering from 2021 of the data centre campus next to the Susquehanna power plant (Image: Linxon)

Cumulus Data says the 1200 acre campus - which is expected to host a bitcoin mining and cloud computing services - is the first of its kind in the USA, and says there will be value and competitive advantages because the direct connection to the power station means there is no "intermediation by legacy electric transmission and distribution utilities".

CEO Alex Hernandez said: "Our flagship Cumulus Susquehanna data centre campus is positioned to welcome its first tenant and commence commercial operations this year. We look forward to advancing our mission to solve the energy 'trilemma' which we define as the rapidly increasing consumer demand for zero-carbon, low-cost, and reliable electricity by data center customers."

There are two additional 48 MW powered shells in advanced development in phase 1 of the project, with an eventual aggregate capacity for the campus of 475 MW. Cumulus Data says it has also identified a further 18 Talen energy sites with potential for data centres directly connected to generation. In 2021, Talen announced a joint venture with US-based bitcoin mining company TeraWulf to develop the Nautilus Cryptomine at the campus. In an update last week, TeraWulf said it was in the "the initial stages of ramping its mining operations" and expected the cryptomine to "provide 50 MW of net mining capacity to TeraWulf" in the first quarter of 2023.

Susquehanna's two boiling water reactors have a net generating capacity of 1257 MWe each. Unit 1 began commercial operation in 1983 and unit 2 in 1985.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News