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Sustainable Hyperscale Data Center: Start Campus Partners With Nautilus, Kyndryl

September 8, 2023 by Joe Panettieri

Start Campus will leverage sustainable water cooling from Nautilus Data Technologies and IT monitoring services from Kyndryl for a massive, sustainable hyperscale data center project in Europe.

The data center campus -- known as the SINES project in Portugal -- will eventually offer a capacity of up to 495 MW. The project's overall price tag is €3.5 billion ($3.74 billion). The build-out will gradually scale from 15MW of service, then to 135 MW and finally 495 MW in 2030, according to the Start Campus website.

Demand for such data centers appears strong. The proof point: Annual revenue in the European green data center market is expected to reach $12.25 billion in 2028 -- up from $7.94 billion in 2022. That's a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.5%, according to Research and Markets.

Start Campus, founded in 2021, is based in Lisbon, Portugal. The company, led by CEO Afonso Salema (pictured, top of page), is backed by Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP and Pioneer Point Partners. Start Campus specializes in 100% sustainable facilities that leverage seawater and repurposed waste-water for cooling and solar/wind power generation. Start Campus locates facilities outside of large metro regions to introduce new industry within local communities.

Nautilus Data Technologies, founded in 2013, is based in Pleasanton, California. The company develops water-cooled data center solutions that "provide the fastest speed to market while reducing the impact on nature," the company asserts. In addition to land-based technology, Nautilus develops floating data centers that can be deployed on "any body of water," the firm says. Nautilus has raised $136 million over three rounds, according to Crunchbase.

Kyndyl, which spun off from IBM in November 2021, positions itself as the world's largest provider of IT infrastructure services. The company, based in New York, generates roughly $17 billion in annual revenues.

Executive Perspectives: Sustainable Data Center and Water Cooling Partnership

Rob Pfleging, CEO, Nautilus Data Technologies

In a prepared statement about the Nautilus relationship, Start Campus CEO Afonso Salema said: “At Start Campus, we believe in pushing the boundaries of what's possible in the data center ecosystem. Start Campus is always thrilled to find dedicated partners who share our vision for a sustainable and efficient data center model. This partnership with Nautilus aligns perfectly with our mission to explore innovative solutions that maximize efficiency while minimizing environmental impact. We can’t wait to see the future of this collaboration.”

Added Nautilus Data Technologies CEO Rob Pfleging: “Nautilus provides the foundational infrastructure that, when combined with partners like Start Campus, paves the way for the most efficient and sustainable data centers. Teaming up with Start Campus, a visionary in the data center sector, allows us to elevate the efficiency and environmental stewardship of our solutions. Together, we are reshaping the blueprint of tomorrow's data center landscape.”

Executive Perspectives: Sustainable Data Center and IT Services Partnership

Paul Coelho, Portugal practices leader, Kyndryl

In a prepared statement about the Kyndryl relationship, Start Campus CEO Afonso Salema said: “Constant and comprehensive monitoring of the entire data ecosystem plays a key role in maintaining the integrity, availability and security of critical digital infrastructure, contributing to the efficiency and success of SINES Project operations, one of the largest hyperscale data center developments in Europe. This partnership with Kyndryl, which we are very proud of, puts our project at the forefront in terms of security at a time when cybersecurity is of critical and central importance.”

Added Kyndryl Portugal Practices Leader Paul Coelho: “The project’s environmental nature, with the goal of providing revolutionary and innovative data center technology powered by 100% renewable energy, brought even more motivation from Kyndryl’s teams to participate in this project."

Start Campus has additional SINES Project partnerships in place: For instance, EXA Infrastructure (EXA), the largest dedicated digital infrastructure platform connecting Europe and North America, has committed to connect the SINES Project to the EXA backbone in Madrid, Spain. The new connectivity hub will be the gateway to European, African, and American digital platforms.

Sustainable Data Centers: Funding and Build-Outs

Multiple companies are investing in sustainable data centers. Among the milestones to note:

Additional Milestones

Additional worldwide developments include:

Related: Track all green data center news here.

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