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Using data center waste heat to warm a fish farm

First comes a fish farm, then a data center, orchard, sheep farm, farmer's market, live fish brokerage and an arts and tech incubator.
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Written by David Chernicoff, Contributor on

Repurposing property into data centers is nothing new, but the Foundry Project looks to take the combination of businesses it supports in Cleveland, Ohio in a unique direction. Already committed to the building of an aquaculture facility designed to farm Mediterranean sea bass, the project developers are looking to create a 20,000 sq ft plus underground data center, and planning to use the waste heat from the data center to maintain the 73.6 degree temperature optimal for the sea bass in the aquaculture facility.

The fish farm is actually the first project planned for the site. Letters of intent with live fish brokers have been signed and they plan to be in operation by mid-2016, delivering up to 100,000 pounds per week. The half million pounds of annual production would represent roughly 5% of the current US import of the fish.

The Project founders believe that once a data center customer is found, they can be up and running within six months. The site has one major attraction to data center operators; it sits on three different 100 Gigabit fiber networks, meaning that the proposed data center will have easy access to redundant high-performance network access, a key selling feature for both colo and dedicated data center facilities.

Life cycle
The Foundry Project

The vision of the Foundry Project is a complete ecosystem within the urban environment. In addition to the data center and fish farm, plans are afoot for an orchard, sheep farm, farmer's market, live fish brokerage and an arts and tech incubator. Despite the planned revitalization of the area into this urban garden, the project has noted that 24/7 security will be a top priority.

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