The general manager of a $150 million data centre due to open at Unanderra next year expects the 30 to 40-strong workforce to be people already living in the Illawarra.
Speaking at the Advantage Wollongong Knowledge Services Forum yesterday, Metronode's Malcolm Roe said he had received interest from data centre workers living in Wollongong who were commuting to Sydney.
Mr Roe also told the forum that while all the initial space in the data centre would be allocated to the NSW government, Metronode would look to expand the facility if there was demand.
"Our business plan and capital profile is to build ahead of demand so that we will have a certain level of capacity vacant available at all times.
"So while our first stage and our current development approval with the council will just have the single data hall, we are planning ... to commence construction of the second data hall very soon after or during the construction process," he said.
"Normally we would expect to try to secure at least 200 kilowatts of load to commence construction of a 760-kilowatt data centre hall. Two hundred kilowatts in this community I don't believe would be a big challenge."
He was keen to get that second stage running.
Mr Roe said he would be happy for ICT Illawarra to act as an initial contact point for anyone interested in using the facility. He would then contact enterprises forecasting their demand could extend to a private suite - the equivalent of 100 kilowatts of space.
"If it is less than that what we would like to do is be able to contract through an intermediary who would aggregate the space and make it available to the community," Mr Roe said.
NSW Trade and Investment regional manager Nigel McKinnon asked about the data centre's utilisation of award-winning BladeRoom modular technology to cool the facility which would make it 50 per cent more efficient than existing centres and whether Metronode would look at fabricating modular components in the region.
"We have the rights to manufacture for the BladeRoom system so the first thing we are looking at is evaluating local manufacture of that technology," Mr Roe said.
"Wollongong is one of those potential locations."