Alameda Sun: City Receives Heat Over Water-Cooled System, June 13, 2019


At its Tuesday, June 18, meeting, City Council will consider approving Nautilus Data Technologies’ lease. The company hopes to operate a water-cooled data center at Building 530 at 120 West Oriskany Ave. on Alameda Point. The lease would also include use of two smaller buildings.

In order to cool its data, Nautilus plans to use water from San Francisco Bay. If its lease and permits are approved, the company would build an “intake structure” beneath a wharf not far from USS Hornet. This 60x6-foot device would draw water from the Bay at a rate of 10,000 gallons a minute. The company told the Council that the intake employs “state-of-the-art, fish-friendly intake screens.” Once the water has cooled its data, Nautilus would discharge the water out into the Bay at the same rate.

The Friends of the Alameda Wildlife Reserve (FAWR) and San Francisco Baykeeper have written letters to the City Council against the lease. Both organizations oppose the use of the system that Nautilus intends to use —once-through cooling. Baykeeper informed Council that once-through cooling is “an antiquated technological approach” and points out that use of this system “could harm the Bay in a variety of ways.