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Data centre operator NEXTDC has begun work on its first Perth data centre.

Site preparation work on NEXTDC's P1 data centre began today in Malaga, a suburb in Perth's north.

P1 will be one of the largest independent data centres in WA, company officials claimed.

The centre will have a gross lettable area of approximately 9600 square metres, including 3000 square metres of technical space and 2000 square metres of office space that will be available to customers for business continuity purposes.

With capacity of 6MW of IT load, P1 will be one of the highest density data centres in Australia, according to CEO Craig Scroggie.

The use of free air cooling will help make P1 one of the most efficient data centres in Australia, officials claimed, with a targeted PUE (power usage effectiveness - the ratio of total power used to the power used by the IT equipment in the centre) of 1.3 or less.

While a PUE of 1.3 is good, it is not outstanding. Google claims a PUE of 1.13 across all its data centres, Microsoft has a target of 1.125 for new data centres, and Facebook claims a PUE of 1.07, but that excludes the solar-powered heating and cooling of office space in the data centres.

Generally speaking, a cooler climate makes it easier to achieve a low PUE as evaporative or refrigerated cooling will be required on fewer days.

The design for P1 also includes solar and tri-generation plants.

The project is being managed by Terry Hendricks, who has managed the planning and construction of multiple data centres in Australia and overseas.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences, a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies, and is a senior member of the Australian Computer Society.

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