Infrastructure

Adani Group and EdgeConneX form equal JV to develop 1 GW data center capacity

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NEW DELHI: Billionaire Gautam Adani-led Adani Enterprises has formed an equal joint venture with EdgeConneX, called AdaniConneX, to develop 1 GW of data centre capacity over the next 10 years, the companies said in a joint statement on Tuesday.

This date centre push by Adani Group, to be powered by renewable energy, comes amid expectations of India’s digital economy touching $1 trillion by 2025. A data centre provides necessary, secured architecture wherein computing and networking equipment is concentrated for collecting, storing, processing, distributing or allowing access to large amounts of data.

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“The JV will focus on building a network of hyperscale data centers in India, starting with Chennai, Navi Mumbai, Noida, Vizag and Hyderabad markets. Development and construction at these sites have already begun,” as per the statement.

Large Indian corporates have been eying India’s date centre opportunity. Mint on Tuesday reported that Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, part of Mukesh Ambani’s oil-to-telecom empire, plans to invest around $950 million for setting up a large data centre in Uttar Pradesh. As part of its playbook, Reliance Jio also plans to set up renewable energy park to power up this data centre.

These plans come in the backdrop of Reserve Bank of India’s norms on data localisation, necessitating the need for setting up such centres to store and protect information. Data localisation refers to storing of data on any device that is physically present within the borders of a country where the data is generated.

“In addition to full scale data centres, AdaniConneX will also develop a portfolio of Edge data centers strategically located throughout India that will support the need for more proximate capacity. These Edge sites are designed and planned to easily scale with demand and become full scale data centre campuses. Importantly, this pan-Indian platform of hyperscale and hyperlocal data centers will largely be powered by renewable energy,” the statement added.

Given that India is running the world’s largest clean energy programme, the government wants to leverage cost effective solar and wind power to supply electricity to these data centres by encouraging electricity storage applications.

Adani Green Energy Limited (AGEL) has formed an equal joint venture with French energy giant Total. With 3.24 GW operational capacity, the JV has one of the largest green energy portfolios in India.

India has around 375 MW installed power capacity for data centre, which is expected to grow three times by 2025. Also, there is a $4.9 billion investment opportunity by 2025 for setting by data centre infrastructure, according to the government.

“India currently has one of world’s largest data subscriber population and to address the need for a reliable infrastructure to support Cloud, Content, Network, IoT, 5G, AI and enterprise requirements, data centers are a fundamental infrastructure need of a nation,” Gautam Adani, chairman, Adani Group, said in the statement.

The Union government also plans to implement a data centre policy to encourage firms to build data centre parks across the country. This involves providing infrastructure status to the data centre sector, on par with sectors such as railways, roadways and power, to enable the industry to avail benefits such as long-term credit from lenders at easier terms. Also, the union and the state governments plan to provide fiscal and non-fiscal incentives.

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