A mysterious barge floating in San Francisco Bay is said to be the secret new Google Glass facility, which has cutting edge technology using the sea water for part of its cooling system. The same type of barge is seen in Portland, Maine this week. Both barges carry buildings made out of four stories of shipping containers on a 250-foot long barge floating on the east and west coasts.
There are black nets of secrecy draped over the operation that’s rumored as a floating “giant Apple store,” in the making bobbing in San Francisco Bay, according to Yahoo News on Oct. 26. The other barge in Portland was spotted by folks in New England over the last week, reported yesterday by CNET.
This “secret project,” which is what the locals are calling this massive floating block rising high above the bay water is expected to eventually anchor next to San Francisco’s Fort Mason and open for the public when it’s complete. Google has declined any comment on this barge and they have not offered any indication that they have anything to do with this “secret project” in the bay.
CNET reports that back in 2009, Google obtained a patent for this type of operation, so has it finally materialized? The ocean water will provide a natural cooling center for such a massive operation. The water also provides a “sustainable power source” for this project, as seen in the diagram from the patient office above.
A very similar floating barge, four stories high like the one in San Francisco Bay, is also seen in Portland, Maine. Is this another floating data center for Google? This is what CNET asks today. The two are definitely connected, claims the website. Both buildings are built out of shipping containers and they both are very similar even down to the entrance into the two buildings, both having a slopped covered walkway.
The patient that Google submitted describes the system as:
“A system [that] includes a floating platform-mounted computer data center comprising a plurality of computing units, a sea-based electrical generator in electrical connection with the plurality of computing units, and one or more sea-water cooling units for providing cooling to the...computing units."
While everything points to this mystery barge being Google’s new and very secretive Google project, some foresee a problem with this. Google hasn’t applied for the permits need to park a floating Google complex in San Francisco Bay, which is something they will need.
Unless Goggle has a secretive way of getting the OK to park the barge, this doesn’t seem possible, as Bay Conservation and Development Commission director Larry Goldzband said in an interview:
“The law is crystal clear in this case: The Bay is not to be used for something that can be built on land.”
As far as the barge in Portland, it is sitting on a barge registered to the same company that the San Francisco barge is registered to. According to CNET: "The one in San Francisco Bay was built on top of a barge with the registration "BAL 0010," while the one in Portland harbor is on a barge with the registration "BAL 0011."
The next question CNET brings up now that two barges have been spotted, "Is there more out there?"