3 hidden nuggets from Singapore's 300MW data centre announcement

3 nuggets from the announcement that were hidden in plain sight.

3 hidden nuggets from Singapore's 300MW data centre announcement
Photo Credit: Unsplash/Meriç Dağlı

Singapore's 300MW for data centres was big news last week. Here are 3 other revelations hidden in it.

Here are 3 nuggets from the announcement that were hidden in plain sight.

  1. 1.4GW of data centres

Sharp-eyed observes would have noticed IMDA's assertion that Singapore has more than 1.4GW of data centre capacity currently.

This is a never-before-seen figure: Depending on who you asked over the last 12 months, this typically ranged from around 900MW to as high as 1.1GW.

But 1.4GW? No one had ever come up with such a high number. What happened?

My take? This figure includes the cloud hyperscalers, which are typically black boxes to industry observers.

Indeed, Google had increased its "technical investment" in data centres by 5.8x since 2021.

Similarly, AWS is investing SG$12B (US$8.8B) in Singapore over the next 4 years - presumably having already secured the power.

  1. It's about strategic opportunities

This morning, I saw a report that Singapore is unlikely to draw "large-scale data centre investments" despite added capacity.

I think that's approaching the topic from the wrong angle.

For a start, the cloud hyperscalers have already secured their capacity. Moreover, the new capacity is about helping Singapore capture strategic opportunities, not build even larger data centres to help operators make more money.

Specifically, it is about allowing Singapore to do what it's always done - fight smart and punch above its weight class, not going toe to toe with others in areas where it is hopelessly outclassed.

  1. It's more than 300MW

Finally, the added capacity is more than 300MW. I know, I keep referring to it as 300MW myself.

  • 300MW of data centre capacity in Green DC Roadmap.
  • 200MW allocated for operators using green energy.

So it's actually 500MW.

The only question here is: Will this be enough to let Singapore capture the strategic opportunities it needs?

Further reading

On Sunday, I wrote up an article with my initial thoughts about the additional capacity and what it represents here.

Do check back over the weekend for part two about how Singapore might successfully redraw the boundaries of what's possible with data centres.

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