October 11, 2011
The site of an abandoned textile mill in the middle of an industrial area in Holyoke, Massachusetts is set to receive some modern investments on the part of the state, five universities and two major technology vendors, among others.
Boston University, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northeastern University and the University of Massachusetts have joined forces to boost access to computational resources for nearby researchers via the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center.
All of the universities are putting forth $10 million with the state of Massachusetts chipping in $25 million. Additional support comes from EMC and Cisco, who are putting $2.5 million each into the project.
The Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center is drawing attention for the same reasons it attracted newcomers a century ago as they sought an ideal location for their textile mill. Plenty of water from the Connecticut River meant cheap power for the site’s first industrial inhabitants—and will mean cooling and energy for the new supercomputing center. This, in addition to the fact that the use of waste heat for greenhouse and building heat systems, are part of the “green” approach to supercomputing facilities.
According to a CBS news report:
“Holyoke's hydropower generated by the falls over Connecticut River's 57-foot drop is a strong attraction, say Goodhue and others involved in planning the computing center, which has a generator on site that draws water power from a canal more than 100 years old. Holyoke's water power accounts for about two-thirds of locally generated electricity.
The relatively cheap electricity is particularly important for the computing center, which is expected to be able to use at any time up to 15 megawatts, the equivalent of powering as many as 15,000 homes.”
When the 9-acre site opens, it will provide resources to power a range of academic research projects, including research in protein structure, fluid dynamics, atmospheric studies, sociological phenomena, and galactic evolution.
Full story at CBS News
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