Nautilus Data Technologies (“Nautilus”) is developing the first major sustainable digital infrastructure in Millinocket, Maine, a rural area designated as a Qualified Opportunity Zone. The 13-acre, 60MW data center facility is engineered to become one of the greenest facilities in the world. Nautilus will use its patented water-cooling systems and 100% hydroelectric power both to support conventional computing and unleash the availability of high-performance computing with dramatically improved energy, water, and environmental performance.
Millinocket is one of seven Qualified Opportunity Zones in Penobscot County that provide federal tax advantages to attract investments into economically distressed communities. Millinocket is the former home of the Great Northern Paper Company, which began producing paper in 1902 and at its peak was the world’s largest newsprint producer. Nautilus will be the first tenant on the site of the former mill since it closed in 2008, launching a new beginning for the region. Read more about the Millinocket story and what’s next here.
“With the help of Nautilus, Maine is demonstrating that we can be a global leader in building pioneering digital technologies that will create jobs and strengthen our economy in an environmentally sustainable way,” said Governor Janet Mills. “This significant investment and new facility mark another important step forward in the revitalization of the former mill site and are further proof that sustainable innovation can power long-term economic growth in rural Maine.”
“Nautilus’ new facility will establish Maine as an international leader in environmentally sustainable data storage technology and lay the foundation for future economic growth,” said U.S. Senator Susan Collins, “By breathing new life into the site of the former Great Northern Paper mill, this substantial investment will help catalyze the creation of much-needed jobs in the region, attract other innovative companies, and strengthen the community.”
Nautilus data centers use its patented TRUE™ (Total Resource Usage Effectiveness) technologies to cool computer systems by using recirculated water from a nearby ocean, river, or lake. TRUE™ enables the high-performance computing systems to meet the growing global demand for artificial intelligence and machine learning applications such as smart city, smart transportation, smart grid, telemedicine, breakthrough R&D, public health, safety, and security.
“As the global economy continues to emphasize both the importance of digital infrastructure and the urgency of confronting climate change, sustainable projects like this are the blueprint for Maine’s future,” said Senator King. “The new Nautilus facility is an important step to revitalize the regional economy, which will put Maine on the map as a leader in digital innovation, further our state’s longstanding commitment to environmentally-friendly industry, and create good jobs that strengthen our communities.”
The Millinocket Data Center will use 70% less power than a traditional data center would use for cooling and will provide 30+% net reduction in energy-related CO2 emissions and air pollution. Unlike the highly resource-intensive and unsustainable characteristics of conventional air-cooled data centers, the Millinocket Data Center will consume zero drinking water, use zero greenhouse gas refrigerants or chemicals, produce zero wastewater, make no noise, and cause no harm to fish or wildlife. Combined with the use of 100% hydroelectric power, the Millinocket Data Center will be the greenest data center globally.
“Nautilus Data Technologies is setting new data center industry green power efficiency benchmarks for reducing data center environmental impact that are key considerations in today’s ESG investment climate. The Millinocket data center will repurpose the infrastructure of a closed paper mill to provide businesses in the Northeast with an unrivalled high- performance data center for mission-critical applications. CapZone is honored to be the Opportunity Zone finance partner to support Nautilus’ acceleration both in the US and overseas,” said Al Puchala, CEO of CapZone Impact Investments.
Taking advantage of two fiber routes of Maine’s high quality, “Three Ring Binder” fiber-optic network, Nautilus will offer customers low latency connections to major commercial and digital hubs including New York, Chicago, Ireland, and London. Nautilus and site owner Our Katahdin executed a 99-year lease that allows engineering, permitting, site development, and project financing to immediately begin.
“A data center is an excellent fit for our multi-use industrial site. The site is uniquely positioned to provide ready access to affordable, 100% renewable power, gravity-fed water, and resilient, multi-point access to fiber broadband networks. We are honored to partner with Nautilus to put our infrastructure to work and to create opportunity in the Katahdin region,” said Sean Dewitt, President of Our Katahdin.
“Nautilus is leading the way to a new level of technical and environmental performance in our increasingly data-dependent world,” explains James Connaughton, CEO of Nautilus. “Our advances in digital infrastructure will help deliver outcomes that enhance people’s lives by accelerating social welfare, improving the environmental, and closing the digital divide.”
Committed customers include The Jackson Laboratory and Maine State Chamber of Commerce. The first phase of the $300 million project is expected to be commissioned and operating by late 2022.
Contact: Ashley Sturm