South Korea to build 1 GW solar-powered data centre complex


A large-scale data centre aggregation complex, designed to be powered by solar energy, is in the works for development in the Guseong District of Haenam-gun, Jeollanam-do, situated in the southwestern part of Korea. According to the official announcement, the chosen site is considered highly suitable for achieving complete utilisation of renewable energy (RE100). The location is reported to possess abundant renewable energy resources and a robust power grid.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy has revealed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding involving various entities, including Jeollanam-do, Haenam-gun, Jeonnam Development Corporation, Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), and seven investment firms: Samsung C&T, LG CNS, NH Investment & Securities, Boseong Industrial, TGK, Korea DRD, and Deus Systems. This collaboration aims to facilitate the establishment of the new complex.

The project is expected to attract significant investment, with an estimated total value of up to 10 trillion won from private investments earmarked for the construction of data centres and associated infrastructure.

The plan encompasses the creation of comprehensive facilities for site and road construction, with the goal of accommodating a total of 25 data centres, each with a capacity of 40 MW, resulting in a cumulative capacity of 1 GW by incremental stages leading up to 2037.

The initial phase will see the construction of five buildings and a 300 MW substation by the year 2027. In the subsequent second phase, an additional five data centres and a second substation are slated for construction by 2032. The third and final stage envisions the creation of eight more facilities in collaboration with international companies by 2037.

The signing ceremony emphasised the commitment to supporting renewable energy usage for these data centres. This aligns with the broader objective of the project, which is to attain RE100 status.

To ensure the seamless distribution of data centres in the region, a support team (TF) consisting of KEPCO and Jeollanam-do will be established. This team will offer policy support, power supply, and administrative assistance.

The Ministry of Industry says it is implementing the “Data Centre Concentration Mitigation Plan” to mitigate the concentration of data centres, primarily concentrated in the capital regions, aiming to minimise negative impacts on the power system.

“We plan to more systematically promote local dispersion measures in data centres through the power system impact evaluation, a system to minimise the negative effects on the system through the impact assessment of the power system of large-scale power-using facilities,” said the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

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