Three permits will be approved during this pilot phase, expected to launch by the second quarter of 2022
The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the Economic Development Board (EDB) will pilot a Call for Application to construct three new data centres, after lifting a moratorium on new data centre projects in place since 2019. In line with Singapore’s climate change commitments, permits will only be granted for proposed data centres that meet a stringent set of energy efficiency criteria.
As the application period draws near, data centre developers and service providers should monitor the evaluation criteria and plan their application strategies accordingly to meet these criteria.
In more detail
A moratorium on new data centre developments in Singapore was imposed in 2019 as the Singapore government reviewed ways to manage the growth of data centres in a sustainable manner, consistent with its climate change commitments.
In the second quarter of 2022, the IMDA and the EDB are expected to launch a pilot Call for Application to build data centres that possess “best-in-class techniques, technologies and practices for energy efficiency and decarbonisation”.
A maximum of three applications will be approved during this pilot phase. Only applications that meet the following proposed criteria will be considered:
- Have a data centre capacity that is between 10 megawatt (MW) and 30 MW;
- Have a power usage effectiveness (PUE) ratio of 1.3 or lower, and include innovation and sustainability solutions; and
- Obtain a Platinum rating under the Green Mark Scheme for New Data Centres established by the IMDA and the Building and Construction Authority (BCA).
However, the above evaluating criteria remain tentative. The government will provide clearer guidelines on how applications will be evaluated in due course. Several land parcels have been set aside for data centre construction by government agencies such as JTC Corporation, but applications to develop other sites will also be considered.
Applicants that incorporate innovative sustainability solutions into their operations and have a record in building and operating data centres in Singapore will be considered favourably.
The results of the application process are expected to be announced during the fourth quarter of 2022.
The government will continue to evaluate its policies towards data centres in the next 12 to 18 months after this initial pilot phase.
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