Microsoft has been given the go-ahead for a massive €380m data centre in Dublin that will employ up to 450 construction workers and result in 150 full-time jobs.
South Dublin County Council has just given the all-clear for the project, which will be Microsoft's fourth data centre in the Clondalkin area of Dublin. Construction works have been slated to begin next month.
It will bring to roughly €900m the amount of money Microsoft has spent on building data centres in Ireland.
It also further cements Ireland's credentials as a leading international location for data centres. A number of major global online giants, including Google and Amazon, have also based large data centres in Ireland that they use to deal with the growing demands of internet usage.
Microsoft's existing data centres are fast approaching their capacity ahead of the most conservative predictions made five years ago.
"With ever-increasing levels of online activity and ever-larger volumes of data, the global demand for data storage is increasing rapidly," according to Microsoft's planning consultants. The proposed facility will enable Microsoft to meet this demand."
It said that demand had been spurred by the increasing use of the internet for social and business life.
Microsoft, which was co-founded by Bill Gates, said it had selected Ireland for the new data centre largely due to climatic conditions and strategic business considerations.
"Due to the relatively cool climate in Ireland, data centre equipment requires significantly less cooling in Ireland," its consultants noted.
"As a result, data centres here require far less air conditioning and temperature control systems which have a high power demand and cost."
The huge new Microsoft centre will extend over 35,000sq m, or just over twice the size of the pitch at Croke Park, which is itself twice the size of a soccer pitch. Just over 13,000sq m of the space will be devoted to data storage, with the remainder comprising essentials such as electrics, maintenance and administration space.
The data centre will be built in two phases. The first phase of the project will begin next month and is expected to be complete by 2015.
While construction worker numbers on the site will hit a peak of 450, it's expected the average number during the building will be 250.
Microsoft paid South Dublin County Council €22m for the land on which the data centre will be located. The council has also said the technology giant must pay a €2.6m development contribution in respect of the centre.
Microsoft has been active in Ireland since 1985 and now employs 1,200 full-time staff here as well as 700 contractors. They play a key role in major Microsoft product releases.
On a visit to Ireland earlier this year, Mr Gates said the basic qualities of the Irish workforce and the country's attractiveness as a place to live remained evident despite the economic hardship that's been endured.