Wednesday 28 September 2016

Apple Athenry: Centre will need more than Dublin's daily electricity supply - hearing

Published 25/05/2016 | 02:30

An artist's impression of the new Apple data centre planned for Athenry, Co Galway
An artist's impression of the new Apple data centre planned for Athenry, Co Galway

OVER 100 people attended an oral hearing into the planned €850m Apple data centre in Galway yesterday where the company stressed it was committed to using renewable energy.

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Rory Mulcahy SC for Apple Distribution Ltd told the hearing that the company was happy to address all the concerns raised by locals. These included flooding fears, energy usage, environmental and climate change impact and wildlife issues.

Mr Mulcahy said a range of experts would address the concerns. He said while the company was committed to using renewable energy, it was not proposing any generating facilities on site but would be connected to the national grid.

Read more: Apple faces new hearing on €850m Galway centre

He said the development would not require increased generation capacity and the company would enter into a contract with a renewable energy supplier. Apple has claimed that it will run the centre on 100pc renewable energy. The 24,500 sq m centre in Athenry was granted planning permission by Galway County Council. It has since been appealed by eight parties.

If given the go-ahead, the development will involve the construction of a data centre, an administration building and associated works and will employ 150 people.

Read more: iPhone 7: Leaked photos reveal details of Apple's next handset

Oisin Collins, representing a residents group, said Apple would be the largest private user of electricity in the State, if it were to expand its presence to the predicted level over the next 15 years.

It would use 300MW of power, which is 8pc of the national capacity and more than the daily entire usage of Dublin city. He questioned whether the impact on the national grid had been fully assessed.

Apple said there will be no increased risk of flooding as the project includes a comprehensive drainage network and soak away areas. The oral hearing is set to last for a number of days.

Irish Independent

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