The initial press accounts were exciting: "Morgan Stanley, Prince of Tides" proclaimed The New York Times, going on to detail the bank holding company's plan to build an off-the-grid data center in northern Scotland sustained by underwater turbines that harnessed power from the ebb and flow of the North Sea's tides. The actual story is both less and more interesting. First, the less interesting part is it's not Morgan Stanley's project. Morgan recently became a part owner of UK-based Atlantis Resources, which owns the tidal energy technology and is building both the renewable energy facility and the data center that it will feed; there are no commitments involving who will fund or occupy the data center.
The interesting part of story revolves around the Pentland Firth, a straight that separates the Orkney Islands from Caithness in the north of Scotland, and which the NYTs dubs "the Saudi Arabia of tidal"; the NYTs story also includes tangents about building greenhouses for Prince Charles's organic food farms; the British Crown Estate's persnicketiness about how much tidal energy can be culled by any one company; and the availability of renewable energy subsidies around the world.