A consortium of Italian companies is seeking to build a data center into a dolomite mine.

The University of Trento, along with construction company Covi Costruziono, IT services company Dedagroup, sustainable healthcare provider GPI, and holding company Istituto Atesino di Sviluppo (ISA), is looking to develop a data center in the San Romedio mine in Trento, Italy.

Trentino Data Mine

The project, dubbed the Trentino Data Mine, is expected to cost €50.2 million ($~53m) and is being funded by the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) - €18.4m ($19.5m) from public funds, and €31.8m ($33.8m) in private investment. The data center will span over 80,000 sqm (861,100 sq ft). The companies have not yet shared the IT capacity.

The project is being led by the University of Trento and the partnership that was selected through public tender. The organizations will design, build, and operate the data center once completed.

The project is part of the NRRP's "Education and research - From research to business" strategy and is expected to take around 36 months to complete. The partnership is expected to see a return on investment within the first 15 years.

The data center will be designed for use by the life sciences fields, artificial intelligence, high-performance computing, Edge computing, and cybersecurity including quantum encryption, and will work on projects contributing to energy transition. The facility itself will use renewable energy, while the mine will act as a shield from natural disasters.

The underground mine is the result of the extraction of dolomite rock. It is currently used to store apples and for the fermentation of sparkling wine, both of which need consistent and cold temperatures.

A similar underground data center is the Lefdal Mine data center located in Måløy, Norway. In April this year, the company announced that it was planning to increase the facility's IT capacity from 20MW to 80MW.

In Sardinia, IT firm Dauvea is looking to convert a disused government-owned silver mine on the Italian island into a 2MW data center.